Is everyone around you coughing, sniffling, and blowing their noses? It’s that time of year, the dreaded cold and flu season. And being sick is no way to start a New Year. But did you know the cold and flu bug can affect your mouth?
5 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
If cold and flu season has already knocked you down, here’s what you need to do to keep your teeth healthy until you’re back on your feet.
1. Brush and Floss Your Teeth Well
When you’re achy and feverish because of a cold or the flu, the last thing you feel like doing is brushing your teeth. And being sick is exhausting. All you want to do is pop a couple aspirin and hide under a blanket in bed. But make sure you brush and floss your teeth twice each day anyway. It’s never a good thing to skip brushing and flossing every day.
2, Drink Lots of Fluids
It’s important to give your body the extra fluids it needs to fight infection when you’re sick. So stay hydrated. Staying hydrated will help you avoid things like dry mouth. When you’re sick with a cold, it’s common to breathe through your mouth because you can’t breathe through your nose causing dry mouth. And this can increase your chances of cavities and gum disease. Your saliva controls cavity-causing bacteria, so drink lots of water, soup, and juice.
3. Gargle with Salt Water
You may have heard this before and thought it was an old wives’ tale. But it’s not. Gargling with salt water eliminates harmful bacteria in your mouth and throat, which eliminates a lot the effects of bad breath and plaque. So dissolve a tablespoon of salt water in a glass of warm water, then gargle, spit, and repeat until the water is gone.
4. Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops or Cough Syrup
Cough drops and syrups taste pretty nasty alone. That’s why most cough drops and syrups are loaded with sugar. But sugar is still sugar and can still cause tooth decay. It can also be harmful to your gums. Buy medicines that are sweetened with xylitol or sucralose. If you can’t find sugar-free medicines, at least brush and rinse after each dose. Some cough drops and cough syrups are acidic. Wait to brush your teeth for thirty minutes. This will allow your enamel to harden.
5. Replace Your Toothbrush
The toothbrush you’re brushing with while you’re sick can harbor bacteria which will make you sick again. Once you begin feeling better, throw your old toothbrush away and replace it with a bacteria-free one.
If you’re dealing with cold and flu season in your home and have questions about how to care for your teeth while you’re sick, give Davis Dental a call at (307) 634-3488. We’d be happy to answer your questions or direct you to a doctor who can. And, of course, we hope you get well soon!
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
3116 Acacia Drive
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm