Caring for Your Oral Health During Cold and Flu Season

The transition from fall into winter signals the start of cold and flu season. As people spend more time indoors and out of the cold and snowy weather, the chances of catching a seasonal bug increase. This year, in particular, people are contending with colds, the flu, RSV, and COVID-19.

When you feel sick, you typically only want to control your symptoms and get better as quickly as possible. Yet, do you ever stop to think of your oral health? Probably not. Most people don’t realize that getting sick can wreak havoc on their oral health and cause pain, sensitivity, and dental issues. How can you care for yourself and your oral health during this cold and flu season? The team at Babylon Dental Care has a few tips.

Don’t Skimp on Oral Care

Sickness can cause fatigue, restlessness, and an overall feeling of the “blahs.” It is hard to work up the motivation to do much of anything. However, no matter how bad you feel, you still need to brush and floss your teeth twice daily. Working up the energy to stick with a dental care routine can be hard. Try to keep your medication in the bathroom near your toothbrush and brush after you take your medicine, or set a timer. Do anything that will remind you not to skimp on your oral health.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

You have probably already gotten this advice from your doctor, mom, friends, and the store check-out clerk. When you are sick, dehydration can set in quickly. Your body needs a steady intake of water, tea, or broth to help ease symptoms and keep you hydrated and stocked with electrolytes. However, there is another reason to stay hydrated when you are sick. Medications like decongestants and antihistamines can cause dry mouth. Drinking water not only hydrates your body, but it hydrates your mouth. Water can help prevent dry mouth and the build-up of harmful bacteria while keeping saliva flowing.

Rinse Your Mouth After Vomiting

If the flu has you running to the bathroom often, don’t forget to rinse your mouth out. The stomach contains powerful acid that helps digest the food we eat. However, this acid can coat your teeth and wear away tooth enamel. After vomiting, swish a solution of water and about one teaspoon of baking soda around your mouth, then spit. The concoction will help rinse the acid off your teeth and protect your enamel. Avoid brushing immediately because the combination of abrasive toothpaste and stomach acid can hurt your teeth.

Pick the Right Products

If you have a sore throat or cough, you want to choose effective lozenges. Unfortunately, some throat drops are packed with sugar, which can be the same as sucking on candy. The more time the cough drop spends in your mouth, the more cavity-causing bacteria produce harmful acid. Read the label. Try to find cough drops or lozenges that are sugar-free.

Make a Dental Appointment Today

On the mend after suffering from a cold or flu? Now is the perfect time to schedule a dental appointment. The courteous staff at Babylon Dental Care will care for your teeth and continues to adhere to NYSDOH guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. Call (631) 983-6665 to make an appointment today.

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