• December 17, 2019
how to protect your teeth when sick

Cold and flu season can begin as early as October, but generally gains steam starting in December. When you’re not feeling well, it’s tempting to crawl under the covers and sleep for a few days until the symptoms subside. While your body heals, it’s important to keep up with healthy dental habits. Consider these tips for how to protect your teeth when sick:

Maintain A Brushing & Flossing Schedule

Plaque doesn’t take a break just because you don’t feel well. Make sure to brush and floss twice a day as normal. But if you have the stomach flu and vomit, wait about 30 minutes before brushing. Stomach acid is strong and immediate brushing spreads it over your teeth enamel. A better option is to rinse your mouth with water and spit. 

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Staying hydrated is important when you’re sick, especially if you’re taking medications such as antihistamines or decongestants. Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth. Saliva is your natural defense against tooth decay. If you want a hot beverage instead of water, choose something like tea without added sugar.

Choose Sugar-Free Medication

Taking cough syrup or sucking on cough drops is helpful when coughing fits hit. Look for sugar-free options to avoid sugar build-up in your mouth. Cough drops that contain fructose or corn syrup are especially problematic because of the extended time they are in contact with your teeth.

Isolate Then Toss Your Toothbrush

Keep your toothbrush separate from the others in your household to avoid spreading germs. After you’ve recovered throw away the toothbrush or brush head to give yourself a healthy start.

Step-Up Cleaning & Hygiene

Limit the spread of colds and flu by covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, making sure used tissues are deposited in the waste can and cleaning surfaces you’ve touched with a disinfecting spray. 

Time For A Bi-Annual Checkup

Knowing how to protect your teeth when sick pays off long after you are back to feeling well. If you’re scared of the dentist, lack of professional dental care can lead to illness because your teeth and gums are more prone to decay and infection. For a gentle dentist for teeth cleaning near Joliet, call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-725-5991 or book an appointment online.