In the winter, the common cold and the flu are out in full swing, ready to make most people feel at least a little sick before the season ends. At Cedar West Family Dentistry, we know that when we (or our kids) get sick, thoughts about dental hygiene can completely vanish from our mind- but they shouldn’t. In today’s blog, your Richfield, MN, dentist will share some advice on how to easily take care of your smile when you’re not feeling well.
Stick to Sugar Free
Though we may not think about it, many of the drinks, supplements, and medicines that we take when we’re sick are actually full of sugar! Luckily, there are sugar free versions of the lozenges, cough drops, liquid medicines, teas, and electrolyte beverages that we want or need to take in when we are sick. Especially with things like cough drops and throat lozenges, which stay in our mouths for a long time, we need to make sure that they do not contain high amounts of sugar, as they would provide a feast for the cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths, leading to the need for restorative care like dental fillings later on.
Staying Hydrated Is Important
Hydration is highly important, especially if you have been vomiting or taking medicines that can cause dry mouth. However, we must watch what we take in to make sure we are not drinking too much sugar, or adding anything acidic like lemon or other citrus fruits, as the acids in these can wear down the enamel on our teeth, putting us at higher risk for decay. The safest beverage to drink at any time, but especially when you’re sick, is water.
Continue to Brush and Floss
We know it can be tough to find the motivation to get up and out of bed when we’re sick, but it’s important to let preventing cavities be motivation enough. Plus, continuing to maintain good oral hygiene habits when you’re sick can not only help to keep your teeth healthy, but it can help you feel better by making you feel overall cleaner and on the way to recovery. Just be sure to always store your toothbrush in a place where it can dry thoroughly to prevent it from harboring more bacteria and viruses. While you shouldn’t need to throw out your toothbrush after you’re sick since it’s very unlikely that you’ll re-infect yourself, you should still keep it from remaining wet, and not allow anyone else to use it. Of course, if your toothbrush is more than three months old, you should replace it anyway!
Ready for Your Smile to Feel Clean Again?
When we’re sick, it is still imperative that we care for our smiles to keep them healthy even when our bodies aren’t. To continue your oral health routine in-office, schedule a visit with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.