There are certain things you can count on, and one of them is that come fall, cold and flu season will take its hold. Whether those nasty germs come from what your kids bring home, your own workplace, or simply touching germ-contaminated elevator buttons, they’re bound to hit your home. Believe it or not, your oral hygiene is directly affected by what’s happening with your body when it’s fighting infection. Here’s what you can do to help.
- Drink LOTS of fluids! Fluid intake is recommended for many illnesses, but there is a particular reason your dentist wants you to stay hydrated: fluids – water in particular – keep cavities at bay. When your mouth is dry and saliva production slows (a common side-effect of many cold and flu medicines), the bacteria on your teeth is not being properly flushed out as it would if you were hydrated. If possible, avoid sugary drinks (like sodas and sports drinks) and acidic drinks (orange juice or lemon water) and stick to water.
- Opt for sugar-free medications. Cough drops, throat lozenges, and cold or flu liquids tend to contain sugar in order to make them more palatable. When possible, use sugar-free products that won’t harm your teeth. If you can’t avoid the sugary stuff, then be sure to rinse and/or brush your teeth afterwards.
- Brush and floss your teeth! We’re not just saying this because we’re in the dental health field, it is actually good for your overall health. Brushing and flossing regularly helps remove the cold and flu germs that may be resting on your tongue and on or between your teeth. No matter how tired and achy you may feel, do not sacrifice your daily dental hygiene routine.
- Get a new toothbrush. Once you’re on the mend, get a new toothbrush. Your old one is full of cold and flu germs and can potentially reinfect you. No matter how wasteful it may seem, a new toothbrush is necessary to keep you healthy.
At Family Dental Choice, we’re not just concerned with your dental health, we’re concerned with your overall health, as well. Whether you’re perfectly healthy or have recently recovered from a cold, we’d love to see your smile. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.