If you are sick with a cold or flu, your oral health probably isn’t your priority. Depending on how sick you are, it can be an exhausting thought just to drag yourself out of bed, much less head to the bathroom to brush your teeth!
However, neglecting your oral hygiene at this time can, unfortunately, can mean bad things for your teeth and gums. Your St. Paul general dentist doesn’t expect you to be an oral health superstar during this time, but taking care of yourself now can minimize the risk of developing cavities and other oral health issues.
Here are a few easy things you can do to protect your oral health, so look them over so you can be prepared the next time you get sick:
- Put floss on your nightstand – Daily flossing is critical for preventing gum disease, so keep floss on your nightstand. That way, you will be more likely to use it while you are lying in bed with nothing else to do!
- Stay hydrated – It is common to get dry mouth when you are sick, but the lack of saliva promotes bacterial growth. Many cold medications are also dehydrating, so keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Sucking on sugar-free cough drops can also help stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Don’t skip brushing – It may be the last thing on your mind, but brushing is just as important when you’re sick. You may be surprised at how brushing can help you feel refreshed, and it has the added benefit of removing decay-producing plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
- Rinse with water after vomiting –Unfortunately, throwing up is often part of being sick. You will probably be tempted to brush immediately after to get rid of the unpleasant taste in your mouth. However, the acid levels rise in your mouth after vomiting, which can weaken dental enamel. But rinsing with water neutralizes the acid in your mouth and help stop erosion.
Please Call Our Office
If you have questions about caring for your oral health, please call the St. Paul general dentist. We will be happy to assist you and schedule an appointment for you if necessary!