As much as we try to stay on top of our health, sometimes we fall victim to a sickness. Whether it’s a little cold or a full-on flu, it’s important to remember to keep up with your mouth’s health while you are sick.
Your Dental Health Can Be Compromised When You Are Sick
You’ll most likely experience aches, sweats, and congestion when you are under the weather. On top of trying to get over these uncomfortable symptoms, your mouth and oral health can be compromised, whether you feel the effects or not. It’s important to consider that when you are trying to get over a sickness that it’s not adversely affecting your teeth’s health.
Six Ways to Stay On Top of Your Dental Health
It may not seem like a priority when you are sick, but the health of your teeth needs to be prioritized. We’ve outlined six ways to take care of your dental health even when it’s the last thing on your mind.
Reduce Your Chances of Dry Mouth
Your mouth can fall victim to dry mouth even when you are feeling your best. When you are sick, your chances of dry mouth drastically increase. For those of you that don’t know, dry mouth occurs when not enough saliva is produced in your mouth, making your mouth feel uncomfortably dry. This is not only bad for your comfort, but it harms your teeth and makes you more susceptible to gum disease. Your ability to fight cavities and infections is diminished with the lack of saliva.
Medicines can increase the risk of dry mouth. To combat this, make sure you are drinking plenty of water when you are taking medicine. You may be tempted to refuel with sports drinks, but you are only adding sugar exposure to your teeth instead of helping. Stick to water to keep you and your mouth healthy!
Don’t Brush Your Teeth After Vomiting
If you are dealing with the flu or a stomach bug, you may be experiencing queasy and unfortunate vomiting. Your first instinct may be to reach for your toothbrush after vomiting but resist the urge. It does a lot more harm than good to brush right after throwing up. When you vomit, acid from your stomach is coming into contact with your mouth and your teeth. By brushing to get rid of the taste right away, you are only rubbing acid into your teeth’s enamel, compromising their protective shield.
Instead, rinse your mouth with water immediately after vomiting. Then wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. This gives your mouth time to naturally wash away the leftover acid.
Avoid Sugary Cough Drops
If you are suffering from a sore throat or coughing, you’ll want to suck on cough drops to make it through the day. Be careful which cough drops you choose! Most times, cough drops are made with large amounts of sugar. Sucking on sugary cough drops throughout the day to help alleviate the constant coughing does more harm than good. You are just subjecting your poor teeth to prolong sugar exposure. This can cause cavities or more serious problems such as tooth decay. Skip the uncertainty and choose
sugar-free cough drops instead!
Toss Your Toothbrush After Sickness
One of the first things you should do when you start to feel more like yourself is to toss your toothbrush. Flu viruses can live on surfaces even after you are sick, so when you start to feel better, your old germs are still lingering. It’s better to be safe than sorry and toss your infected toothbrush. You wouldn’t want to infect yourself again or accidentally affect someone else in your home.
Avoid Going to the Dentist When You Are Sick
As much as you want to come to visit us, it’s probably best that you reschedule a check-up with the dentist until after you are feeling better.
First off, if you are contagious, you shouldn’t risk infecting other patients or any of our doctors. Secondly, it would be uncomfortable if you are because most dental procedures require you to breathe from your nose and not your mouth! If you are congested, you would be experiencing a lot of discomfort.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Use this time to visit your doctor instead and we’ll be happy to examine your dental health once you are feeling better!
Just Keep Brushing!
Even if you aren’t feeling up to doing much of anything else, brushing should still be a main priority in your time of sickness. Brushing helps fight off any infection or lingering germs in your mouth.
Your teeth are more vulnerable when you are sick, so simply brushing is doing your mouth a huge favor. Just remember, in sickness and in health, just keep brushing your teeth!
Maintain Dental Health With Park Avenue Dental
Whether you are feeling 100% or suffering from a sickness, it’s important that you keep your dental health in mind. There are no off days when it comes to taking care of your mouth. Once you are feeling better, it’s a good idea to schedule a routine check-up and teeth cleaning with one of our dentists to give your teeth the attention they deserve. Call us today to schedule an appointment!