What are the essential dental tips when you have a cold? We know that this is the season where you may not feel your best. With the spread of cold and flu viruses, we don’t blame you. When you don’t feel at your best your dental habits are surely not at the top of your list. You may neglect proper brushing habits and shrug it off as something to put on your ‘maybe later’ list. Putting things off like brushing your teeth should not be put off when you are sick or not feeling well. Neglecting your dental health starts a cycle of bad habits and can lead to oral problems if care is not taken to keep up your hygiene. Getting sick does affect your dental health whether you realize it not. You may be surprised at how your dental health is affected if you have never given it a thought.
Brush Your Teeth:
Being sick is not fun at all and should be taken seriously, so is brushing your teeth and flossing. Maintaining the habit of brushing your teeth may not help you feel better but it will minimize the risk of a dental problem occurring while or after you get sick. You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes.
Drinking lots of liquid is recommended when you are sick. Your body will need lots of fluids to fight off any infections that may be present. Staying hydrated can be as simple as drinking juice, water, and even consuming soup. Stay away from liquids that do nothing for your immune system such as soda and limit your coffee intake. Did you know that staying hydrated when sick affects dental health due to the fact that dry mouth often occurs? A dry mouth can cause cavities when saliva is not present to control bacteria that causes cavities. Dry mouth has the possibility to occur when you can’t breathe through your nose. Hydration is key.
Replace Your Toothbrush:
If you are sick continue to use your present toothbrush but when you overcome the sickness remember to replace your toothbrush. The old toothbrush will contain bacteria that you had when you were sick, and this might increase the chances of the sickness coming back to reinfect you. The general rule is to replace your toothbrush every 3 months. Exceptions to this rule are in cases of sickness and if bristles on the brush are frayed.
Gargle with Salt Water:
For sore throats, gargling with salt water can be helpful for removing harmful bacteria in your throat and mouth. Did you know that gargling with salt water minimizes the effects of bad breath and plaque buildup? To gargle with salt water, get a glass of warm water and add a tablespoon of salt to the water. Go to the sink and gargle and spit until the water is finished. If somehow you don’t have salt water present you can use water and hydrogen peroxide as an alternative.
Opt for Sugar Free Medication:
There are some medicines that you may dread taking. That is why sugar was added to some medicines to sweeten the mixture for pleasant consumption. Even medicines can have effects on dental health when consumed regularly. Medicines that include sugar are usually cough drops and various cough syrups. Sugary medicines can cause tooth decay or even harm your gums. To lessen the blow to your dental health, choose medicines that are sweetened with sugar substitutes such as xylitol or sucralose. Some medicines will not have a sugar-free alternative and that is okay. If you have to use medicine with sugar just make sure to brush your teeth after taking it. You can also rinse your mouth with water afterward if brushing is not an option. Some medicines can be acidic and if you take an acidic medicine brush your teeth after 30 minutes of taking the medicine to give it time to harden tooth enamel.
Brushing After Vomiting:
If you get sick to where you have to vomit an instinct may be to brush your teeth right after this happens. It is not a good idea to brush your teeth the instant after you vomit. If you wait to brush your teeth at least 30 minutes after you are doing your teeth and gums a favor. How so? When a person vomits, stomach acid comes up and begins to coat your teeth. This coating eats at your tooth enamel. Is that a bad thing? Yes, it is but when you brush your teeth instantly after vomiting you are only making the enamel worse by doubling the enamel damage by helping the coating spread and multiply. After vomiting, it is better to swish with your choice of water, mouthwash, or a mixture of baking soda and water. Brush 20 to 30 minutes later.
Never Share Toothbrushes:
Sharing a toothbrush is not a good idea when you are sick. The spread of bacteria and the possibility of re-infection is high. It is better to have your own in times like this to minimize any possible risks.
Check-in With Dentist:
During the cold seasons when illnesses are most likely to arise sinus infections can cause your teeth and gums much pain. Along with tooth pain and dry mouth cavities and gum, irrigation is likely to affect you. If gum pain persists, check-in with your dentist who will know what to do to help ease the pain.
Know you know just how important it is to keep your dental health intact while you are feeling under the weather. Remember to stay positive and practice proper oral hygiene during cold and flu season.
If you are looking for a local dentist in the Houston, Texas area, make Omega Dental Specialist your one-stop dental office near you for all your adult and pediatric dental specialists needs. We look forward to serving you and your family.