When we are feeling under the weather, especially with a cold or the flu, one of the last things we want to do is get up and take care of our hygiene. However, caring for your smile can be just as important as caring for your body and symptoms. In today’s blog, your Conroe, TX, dentist will discuss ways keep your teeth clean when you’re sick, and how it can help banish your illness more quickly and effectively while keeping your smile looking great.
Keep Brushing and Stay Hydrated
Even if you’re not feeling up to it, brushing your teeth can help you feel clean when you’re sick, which can help you along the road to recovery. It also allows you to scrub off food remnants and the sugar from the sugary electrolyte beverages and juices that we often turn to when we are sick, especially when we experience dry mouth from medications. These drinks are fine in moderation, but it is important to remember that water is the safest beverage for the health of your teeth. Additionally, if you are suffering from throat issues and choose to drink hot tea, try to avoid adding lemon or sugar, as the acidity in lemon can corrode your enamel and sugar can cause cavities, especially if you’re not being diligent about brushing.
Keep Your Toothbrush Dry and Fresh
It is important to note that you probably don’t need to throw out your toothbrush after you are sick, as you likely cannot re-infect yourself. However, you should make sure that you are storing your toothbrush upright so that it can fully dry, as moist surfaces are often able to harbor bacteria and viruses longer than dry surfaces, and that you are not sharing your toothbrush with anyone, especially if you’re not feeling well. Of course, if your toothbrush is three or more months old, it’s time to replace it anyway.
Sugar-Free Is the Way to Be
If you are using cough drops, supplements, or throat lozenges, do your teeth a favor and choose sugar-free versions. Since lozenges and cough drops stay in your mouth for a long time, there is more time for the bacteria on your teeth to feed on the sugar, creating a higher risk for cavities that would necessitate restorative care like dental fillings in the future.
Waiting Is Important
One of the most unfortunately common symptoms of being sick can be vomiting. You may be tempted to brush immediately after this happens, and we don’t blame you. However, when stomach acid is present in your mouth, brushing your teeth will do little more than move it around on your teeth, allowing the acid to harm your enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water or a diluted mixture of sugar-free mouthwash with water as an initial cleanse. Then, wait about 30 minutes before brushing to have the most impact.
Continuing Your Care
Good oral health starts at home, but it continues in our office. Whether or not you have been feeling under the weather, it is important to maintain great oral hygiene habits, including attending regular dental visits. Contact the Dental Centre of Conroe to schedule a checkup and cleaning by calling (936) 441-4600. We serve patients from Conroe, TX, and the neighboring communities.