Summer is drawing to a close, and autumn is knocking at the door. Before you know it, the cold and flu season will be here. Getting sick is never fun, and rest is helpful, but you can’t let up on your oral hygiene routine. In fact, there are certain parts of the cold and flu season that can be extra harmful for your smile. Now is a good time to remind you about tips for maintaining good oral health so that you’re ready if illness comes your way.
Brush and Floss to Help You Feel Better
It can be hard to remember to brush and floss as usual when you’re sick, but maintaining part of your normal routine can actually be comforting while you’re feeling down. Plus, you can enjoy some small sense of accomplishment before you get back in bed. In addition, keeping your mouth as clean as possible can help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Not to mention, getting rid of oral bacteria can only help while you fight a cold or the flu!
Try to Avoid a Dry Mouth
If you are unable to breathe through your nose because of congestion, then your only choice is to breathe using your mouth, which isn’t ideal for oral health. Mouth breathing tends to make it dry, but you need saliva to wash away food debris and bacteria, meaning that breathing through your mouth can significantly increase the risk of tooth decay.
Did you know that certain medicine to help with a cold or the flu (such as antihistamines, pain relievers, and decongestants) can actually make dryness in the mouth worse? Keep this in mind and make sure to drink plenty of water and breathe through your nose whenever possible.
Cut Back on Sugar
The bad bacteria in your mouth multiply when you eat sugar, even in the form of a cough drop. Sucking on a sugary cough drop is practically as harmful as sucking on hard candy. Instead, it’s a good idea to choose a sugar-free cough drop to soothe a sore throat.
Rehydrate with Water
When sickness strikes, you may gravitate toward beverages like orange juice, sports drinks, or sweetened tea. While these may be good for your immune system and reassuring for your mental health, they can contain a lot of sugar. If you drink any of these, remember to sip some water afterward to wash away leftover sugar. However, more than any other beverage, water is the best alternative to replace lost fluids due to flu or cold symptoms.
In the end, oral bacteria unfortunately doesn’t take a break when you’re sick. It becomes extremely important to keep your mouth healthy as you experience a cold or the flu so that you don’t have to face even more problems like cavities later on. By following these tips, you can get through this upcoming season with a strong smile!
About the Practice
Galleria Dentistry has served the Naples community for about 40 years. Dr. Gery Benza opened the practice in 1982 and is joined by his son and daughter-in-law. Although these extremely skilled, highly trained dentists are capable of treating advanced cases, they encourage prevention. If you think you could have a cavity or are due for your six-month checkup and cleaning, you can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 239-592-5112 or visiting our Contact Us page here.