Flu season is upon us, and there is plenty you can do to try and prevent yourself from catching it. From flu shots to hand sanitizer, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll avoid it completely. If you do end up with the flu this year, taking care of your teeth will probably be the last thing on your mind for at least a few days. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can (and should) do to keep your teeth healthy. In this blog, Parkcrest Dental Group’s dental professionals offer some advice for caring for your teeth when you have the flu.
Keeping Your Mouth Clean
It’s especially important to keep your mouth clean when you’re sick, but it can be much harder to brush your teeth properly. If you have the flu, or any kind of sickness that’s making you vomit, it’s best to rinse your mouth out afterward. Brushing your teeth immediately afterward can actually damage your teeth, as the stomach acid coming up will coat them. Brushing risks spreading them over all your teeth, eating away at the enamel. Rinse with water or diluted mouthwash, and wait for about 30 minutes to actually brush.
Sugar-Free Cough Drops
If you’re coughing or suffering from a dry or sore throat, cough drops are a great way to help soothe the symptoms. When it comes to the health of your teeth, you should always make sure to use a sugar-free cough drop. Sugar is a common ingredient in cough drops, which means that overdoing it is risking long-term damage to your teeth. Sugar-free varieties will still offer the same benefits without hurting your teeth.
Staying properly hydrated is essential when you’re sick, especially when it comes to the flu. The best thing you can drink when you’re sick is water, for your body and for your teeth. Certain sports drinks or hot drinks you turn to when sick can help you feel better, but you should use them in moderation. They’re often loaded with sugar, and they may contain lemon, citric acid or other chemicals that can damage your teeth.
Look After Your Overall Health
The flu is often severe, even for those of us who are generally healthy. Make sure you take care of yourself when you’re really sick — follow proper medical advice, stay hydrated, eat small amounts when you can, and keep an eye on your temperature if you have a fever.
Contact Your Professional Dental Team Today
For more advice like this, check our blog archive or contact the office of Parkcrest Dental Group today. We’ve been providing friendly, professional dental services to people in and around Springfield, MO for years — from cosmetic dentistry to pediatrics — and we are ready to help you achieve your perfect smile.