Caring for Your Teeth When You’re Sick

caring for your teeth when you're sick

When cold and flu season arrives, our focus is often shifted towards preventing spreading it and, if we do get sick, treating symptoms. While treatment rarely involves your teeth and dental hygiene, it’s actually quite important to pay attention to exactly that! When you’re sick, there are a few precautions you should take with your dental care to be sure you’re on the track back to health.

1. Don’t share your toothbrush.

This one goes without saying – and is a rule regardless of whether or not you’re sick. With that said, it’s especially important to keep your toothbrush to yourself when you’re under the weather, as germs and the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours.

2. Stay hydrated.

When you’re sick, your body needs even more hydration than usual to replenish fluids lost through sweating, sneezing, and a runny nose. A dry mouth can be dangerous for your teeth and gums, so be sure you’re drinking water throughout the day.

3. Rinse regularly.

A stomach bug can wreak havoc on your insides, and stomach acid can do the same for your teeth. Whether or not you’ve been vomiting while being sick, be sure to rinse your mouth to prevent acid from building up on your teeth.

4. Stick to sugar-free cough drops.

Designed to last in your mouth for several minutes, most throat lozenges and cough drops are packed with sugar. Unfortunately repeated use of those while you’re sick can lead to buildup on your teeth. If you need them, grab the sugar-free version. Also, it’s best to stick to cough medicine in pill form as opposed to liquid.

5. Buy a new toothbrush when you’re better!

Once you’re feeling like yourself again, a new toothbrush is a must – or a new brush head if you use an electric. This will prevent germs that may linger on the brush from getting back into your system.

When you take the right steps to care for yourself during sickness, you can ensure a quick recovery and continued health for your entire body. If you have any questions about how sickness effects your dental health (and vice versa), get in touch with Lakeshore Family Dentistry today! Our caring staff will provide helpful tips to keep you feeling your best.