Nothing is worse than feeling ill due to a cold or the flu. Despite your best efforts, it is bound to happen as there are more than 200 different viruses that can cause colds and 3 common strands of the flu. On average, you will get sick 2-4 times per year. When you are under the weather, often your only thoughts are on resting to feel well again. As a result, you can let your oral hygiene slip as the health of your teeth and gums are the last thing on your mind. However, your dentist in Cary recommends that you spend time caring for your mouth to prevent dental complications from developing.
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
Even when you are sick, it is important to continue brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every night to decrease harmful bacteria levels in your mouth. In addition, it is important to remember that viruses can live on your toothbrush for as long as 72 hours. Therefore, do not forget to replace it after you have been ill. While the chances of reinfection are low, it is always best to get a new one whenever there is any doubt.
Rinse Your Mouth
It is not uncommon to vomit with certain illnesses, which can bathe your teeth in stomach acids. Although you may be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, it is better to wait to prevent spreading the acids around in your mouth. Instead, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water and then brush about 30 minutes later.
Stay Hydrated with Water
When you are ill, your doctor will always recommend that you stay hydrated, and your dentist agrees. Often, dry mouth can occur due to the illness or medications that you may take to help alleviate the symptoms. If the mouth becomes dry, it can promote the growth of harmful bacteria. To prevent dry mouth, drink plenty of water. Although you may be tempted to choose sports drinks due to their electrolytes, they can damage your teeth, so it is best to stick with water.
Choose Sugarless Cough Drops
A bad throat or cough can be relieved using cough drops. While they are beneficial for soothing the symptoms of the cold, they can cause cavities because they often contain sugar. It is always best to choose those that are sugarless. If you decide to use hard candies instead, ensure that they do not contain any sugar as well.
Protect Your Mouth
If you come down with a cold or the flu, do not neglect your dental health. With the right care, you will get back to feeling your best without causing damage to your smile.
About Dr. Darren G. Koch
Your Cary dentist, Dr. Darren G. Koch, has provided comprehensive dental care for more than 15 years. With a focus on promoting his patients’ overall well-being, he provides tailored solutions to foster a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have any questions about caring for your teeth while you are ill, contact our office today to speak with a member of our dental team.