Cold and flu season is in full swing this time of year. In fact, you may already know someone who has had flu-like symptoms, or maybe you’ve had some yourself. Your teeth are probably not the first thing you think about when symptoms begin. You are concerned about you or your loved ones feeling better as quickly as possible. But there are a few specific ways to protect your oral health. Your Buffalo Grove, IL dental team compiled a short list of oral care tips to help.
What About My Toothbrush?
It’s important to never share a toothbrush with someone else. It’s too easy to share germs and viruses by using the same toothbrush. Having your own toothbrush helps protect you from getting sick. Think about how you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze just to keep your germs to yourself. It’s the same principle. You may also have heard that you need to discard a toothbrush after you’ve been sick. This is not necessarily true. It’s not very likely that you would re-infect yourself unless you have a seriously compromised immune system. Creekside Dental suggests replacing your toothbrush with a new one every three to six months. To be safe, if it’s been three months since you purchased your toothbrush, toss it and start with a new one.
Cough Drops Oral Care Tips
Cough drops can help soothe a sore throat or tame the sinuses just a little. But most of them are made with a lot of sugar. This can be harmful to your teeth. Holding a sugary cough drop in your mouth feeds bacteria that can damage your teeth and lead to cavities. A small amount of relief can have a negative effect on your oral health. Reading the ingredient label to see if they contain sugar. Purchasing sugar-free cough drops help protect your teeth and oral health.
Using A Mouth Rinse
Unfortunately, throwing up is often part of getting sick. It’s not pleasant, and it’s not a popular topic. When you vomit, your teeth get stomach acid on them. It’s best to not brush right away, but you might rinse your mouth out with water. A mouth rinse can be made by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Just use it by rinsing and spitting it out. After about 30 minutes, it’s okay to brush your teeth.
Importance of Hydration to Your Oral Health
When you are sick, your doctor will most likely recommend staying hydrated. When you get dehydrated, it can cause many other complications. Staying hydrated is also good for your oral health. When you don’t consume enough liquid, you can get dry mouth. This is a condition that can lead to cavities. This can also be caused by some medications that are designed to help reduce the symptoms you are experiencing. They tend to dry your mouth out too. You may consider using sugar-free cough drops to help your mouth make enough saliva. This can help prevent dry mouth too.
What should you drink to stay hydrated? Your Buffalo Grove, IL dentist recommends plain ole water. It’s always the safest way to stay hydrated. Your doctor might want you to drink sports drinks that can help balance out your electrolytes. If so, just drink it for the duration of your sickness, then stop. It’s best if you can find sugar-free options to drink.
Have more questions about your oral health or teeth? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns. Dr. Sara Chung, Dr. William McCune, and Dr. John Micaletti are all dedicated to your oral care and are happy to answer any questions you may have.