When you’re sick it’s easy to disregard your teeth and focus on the runny nose, muscle aches, and chills. But while it’s ok to crash on the couch most of the day, it’s important to stagger to the sink and brush those teeth every now and then. Here are some more easy ways to take care of your mouth when you’re under the weather.
Cut Down on the Sugar
Those menthol-fresh cough drops may feel great to your throat, but they can wreak havoc in your mouth, especially if you’re popping one after another to get through the day. Choose a sugar-free version and rinse or brush your teeth afterward. Even medicines can contain quite a bit of sugar, so opt for sugar-free there too. Many of us turn to sports drinks to replace electrolytes or fizzy sodas to calm an upset stomach, but most of the time water is just as beneficial and doesn’t come with the sugary side effects.
Chug the Water
Keep the sweet drinks in moderation, but make sure to chug water to stay hydrated. Congestion can lead to breathing through your mouth, and that can dry things out. A dry mouth means less saliva to wash away food particles, which can then burrow in and cause cavities. It can also cause bad breath and scare away well-wishers who come take care of you. Besides the benefits to your mouth, drinking plenty of water helps the rest of your body attach the nasty germs that got you in this predicament in the first place, helping you recover faster.
Brush, But Wait…
One of the most unpleasant sickness side effects of flu season quite literally leaves a bad taste in your mouth. After vomiting, one of your first reactions will probably be to reach for your toothbrush. Sounds like a great idea, right? Not so fast—brushing right away can actually spread the acid and germs around your mouth. First, rinse with warm water and a little bit of baking soda. Wait a few minutes and then brush away all of those germs. Make sure to brush your tongue and floss too. This is no time to skimp on the cleaning.
Banish the Germs
Did you know that cold and flu germs can live in your mouth? Brushing your teeth regularly can help get rid of those germs and reduce the risk of passing them on to someone else when you cough or sneeze. And of course, remember to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.
When the inevitable sickness strikes this cold and flu season, relax and take it easy. But if you want to recover quickly without compromising your dental health, don’t neglect those pearly whites. If you haven’t been in the last few months, now is a great time to contact Dupont Dental for an appointment. They’ll make sure your teeth are in tip-top shape going into this cold and flu season and give you expert advice on the right dental care plan to protect your mouth from those big, bad germs.