Now that the holidays are over, you’ve moved into the heart of cold & flu season. While there’s no guarantee that you catch something, you know what this time of year is like. Chances are, you’ll catch some kind of cold between here and spring.
When this happens, it can also affect your dental health. That’s why you need to keep getting dental cleanings and exams at Nashua Family Dentistry. Call us today at 603-546-7460 to make your next appointment. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you protect your smile when feeling sick.
Tips For Your Smile
- Drink plenty of water: A dry mouth means more food particles get stuck to your teeth and gums. Bacteria feed on these and cause tooth decay and gum disease. By staying hydrated, you can protect your dental health and help your body fight that cold.
- Choose sugar-free medicine when available: Medicine usually tastes awful, which is why manufacturers often add a lot of sugar to them. This coats your teeth in the exact stuff harmful bacteria love. Get a sugar-free version when possible. If not, rinse your mouth after taking it.
- Keep brushing and flossing like normal: When you are ill, it’s tempting to stop taking care of yourself and just rest. That’s fine, but you still need to brush and floss your teeth every day. Even if you have the flu, your teeth need to be cleaned daily.
- Avoid cough drops if possible: Like with other medicine, cough drops typically have too much sugar in them. But because these are so hard, they can also cause small amounts of damage to your enamel. Use what you need to stay comfortable when sick, but skip the cough drops if you can avoid them.
- Rinse your teeth if you have the stomach flu: Sugar isn’t the only thing that can hurt your smile. Stomach acid from vomiting can damage enamel as well. If you are sick to your stomach, be sure to rinse away that acid with plain water.
- Replace your toothbrush: You should change toothbrushes every six months or so, but when you are sick, you need to do that sooner. That’s because the cold or flu germs are get onto your toothbrush. If you need to replace it soon anyway, why not do it now so your brush is clean?
- Limit how much juice you drink: Fruit juices often have vitamins and minerals your body needs when your sick. But know that these not only have a lot of sugar, they have acids that can slowly erode your enamel. Drink what you need, but rinse your teeth with water after any juice.
Keep Getting Cleanings & Exams
If you have a cold or the flu and you have an appointment, it may be best to reschedule. Even if you have to cancel an appointment, you still need to get regular cleanings and exams. Our dentists combine years of training with real-world experiences so you can get the quality dental care you deserve, even if you are not feeling well.