When you start to feel under the weather, treating your symptoms can quickly become your number one priority. As you focus on getting healthier, don’t forget to take care of an essential part of your body—your mouth! Both your sickness and how you treat it can have a significant impact on your oral health. Here’s some practical advice from your dentist about keeping your smile healthy during cold and flu season.
Keep Brushing Your Teeth
Sometimes, simply brushing your teeth while you’re sick can help you feel a little healthier. While a regular dentalcare routine is always important for your oral health, it’s especially important when you’re not feeling well. The increased levels of bacteria in your mouth boost your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. So even when you’re sick, be sure to:
- Brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day.
- Take the time to floss and use mouthwash at least once a day.
- Throw out your toothbrush and use a new one when you feel better.
Fight Cavities and Your Cold
Have you ever been overwhelmed by how many different throat lozenges and cough syrups are available? Before you randomly grab one off the shelf, check the nutrition label. Any product that contains a high amount of fructose or corn syrup will encourage the development of cavities, even if it’s medicine. Just like sucking on a hard candy or eating maple syrup, sugary throat lozenges and cough syrups will spread a layer of sticky sugar all over your teeth and gums, which will eventually burn through the protective shell of enamel. To fight off cavities as you treat your symptoms, sip water throughout the day to rinse any lingering sugars off your teeth or try sugar-free alternatives.
No matter what illness you’re battling, it’s always important to stay hydrated. Some drinks can even help you get better faster. For instance, a cup of hot tea can soothe a sore throat, a glass of orange juice can boost your immune system, and a sports drink can help you replenish your electrolytes. Unfortunately, all these beverages are also highly acidic, which means they wear down your enamel very quickly and cause discoloration. So how can you enjoy the benefits of these drinks without staining your smile? Try drinking them through a straw! Although it may seem silly at first, your teeth will thank you in the long run.
Don’t forget about your oral health this cold and flu season. If you get sick, use these simple tips to keep your teeth happy as you get healthier.
About the Dentist
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki has been helping Orange Park, FL and the surrounding communities achieve the happy, healthy smiles they’ve always wanted for years. At your regular dental checkup every six months, he can use a combination of state-of-the-art technology and specialized training to help you maintain optimal oral health all year long. If you have any more questions about the article you just read, he can be contacted through his website or at (904) 272-1588.