Hair & Beauty Magazine

How to Protect Your Teeth When You Have Cold Or Flu

By Alyssa Martinez @ItsMariaAlyssa

When you have a cold or flu, you may not feel as if you want to do much of anything. However, it is important to maintain your dental hygiene. There are even a few additional precautions that you should take.

During the upcoming cold and flu season, pay attention to the following tips to protect your teeth and jaws.

Continue To Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The winter is typically considered the cold and flu season. When the temperature drops, you may not feel as if you want to make the trip to your local dental clinic. However, it is important that you continue to maintain your same oral hygiene practices, including scheduling annual check-ups with an orthodontist Gold Coast clinics provide.

When you have a cold or flu or people in your household are sick, it is even more important to continue practicing good oral hygiene. The flu virus may survive for up to 72 hours on moist areas. Keep the bathroom sink area clean and do not share toothbrushes.

After the cold or flu has passed, you may not need to replace your toothbrush. Reinfecting yourself is very unlikely. However, you should replace the toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles begin to wear.

Stay Hydrated to Fight Dry Mouth And Cavities

When you have a cold or flu, your sinuses may get congested and cause you to breathe through your mouth, which may lead to dry mouth. Certain medications can also cause your mouth to dry out.

A dry mouth makes it easier for bacteria to spread, which increases your risk of cavities. To combat dry mouth, you should stay hydrated. Make sure that you drink plenty of liquids. Water is the preferred choice as it does not contain any added sugars or substances that may harm your teeth.

Use Sugar-Free Cold and Flu Medications

Besides drying your mouth, some medications may promote tooth decay and cavities. Sugary cough syrups and cough drops may taste better. However, the sugar can stick to your teeth.

There are sugar-free alternatives to these medications. If you cannot find the sugar-free substitutes, you should always brush your teeth about a half hour afterward.

Thoroughly Rinse Your Mouth After Vomiting

When you have the flu, vomiting is one of the side effects that you may experience. Vomiting causes stomach acids to rise. Similar to sugar, these acids can eat away at the enamel, increasing the risk of cavities.

After vomiting, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water or mouth rinse. If you are worried about the taste of mouth rinse causing you to vomit again, you can dilute it with water to make it more tolerable.

In the end, dealing with oral hygiene while sick is not complicated. You should continue to follow your normal dental health habits, including brushing at least twice per day and flossing regularly. However, you may also need to keep yourself hydrated, rinse your mouth after vomiting, and switch to sugar-free cold and flu medications. There are articles you can find online talking more about how to best care for your mouth when you are sick.

If you notice any additional dental issues, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dental clinic.

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