Fall has officially arrived, and that usually means it’s the unofficial start of cold and flu season. When you are feeling under the weather, it’s even more important to take care of yourself. This includes taking care of your oral health.
Here are some tips you might hear from a top dentist in Amherst.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
When you’re sick, you need to stay hydrated, so drinking plenty of water is important. Another benefit of fluids is to keep you from getting dry mouth. If you are on medications such as antihistamines or pain relievers, these can dry out your mouth. Drinking sugar- and caffeine-free fluids will help keep the saliva flowing.
Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops
Sucking on a cough drop is no different than sucking on hard candy, so make sure you get drops that contain no sugars, such as fructose or corn syrup. Sugars feed the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Don’t skip brushing your teeth, even when you are feeling at your worst. Having a clean mouth can actually make you feel better!
Everyone knows you should cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze—and preferably with your elbow rather than your hand to help avoid the spread of germs. It’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after a bout of illness. Although the risk of re-infecting yourself is rather low, why take a chance?
If one of your illness’s side effects is vomiting, be sure to rinse and swish afterward. Although it might be tempting to brush your teeth immediately, it’s actually better to wait. Brushing your teeth right after just spreads stomach acids around your teeth. It’s better to rinse with a mixture of water and a teaspoon of baking soda to help get rid of the acid first. Wait about 30 minutes before brushing.