As the winter weather arrives, so do cold and flu seasons. Cold and flu season can cause you to miss work or school. When you are sick, all you want to do is spend your days lying in bed, coughing, sneezing, and feeling bad. While you may not feel like doing much during this time, you must not neglect your oral health. Here are a few tips for maintaining dental health while recovering from your illness.
1. Stay Hydrated With Water
Most medical professionals advise drinking plenty of fluids when you have the flu or a bad cold. While it is essential to keep your body hydrated with fluids, juices, sports drinks, sweetened teas, and certain coffees are all filled with sugar.
The best way to ensure you remain hydrated is by drinking water. If you choose one of these other beverages, follow it with water. The water will not only hydrate you but comes with many other benefits. Some of these are as follows:
- Washes off sugary films
- Cleans stomach acids that frequent vomiting produces
- Relieves dry mouth from congestion and medication
- Flushes the toxins from your body
Failure to drink water allows bacteria to accumulate that can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.
2. Continue To Brush and Floss
Although you may not feel like lifting your head off your pillow, paying attention to your oral health routines is vital. Brushing and flossing your teeth can help you feel better.
Getting up and brushing and flossing and at least washing your face will provide a sense of accomplishment that you got something done. But a clean mouth can help hydrate your dry mouth and improve your breath.
3. Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops When Possible
Sugary cough drops or throat lozenges can be just as bad for your teeth as sugary hard candies. The sugar reacts with the increased oral bacteria in your mouth and places you at risk of decay.
Choose sugar-free cough drops when possible. You will still get relief from the lozenges without the damage of the sugar.
4. Change Out Your Toothbrush
Changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head after an episode of the cold or flu is really important. The germs and bacteria can continue to live in the bristles of your toothbrush long after you begin feeling better. To avoid being reinfected with the virus, toss out your old one and put a new one in place.
Contact a general dentist near you to learn more.