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Protect Your Teeth When You’re Sick

Chicken noodle soup, lots of liquids and plenty of rest is usually what comes to mind when experiencing a cold or the flu. Many people don’t realize that oral hygiene should also be a part of their recovery routine.

Toothbrushes
Rule of thumb dictates that toothbrushes should never be shared. This is especially true when you are sick. Toothbrushes don’t necessarily need to be replaced every time you get a cold, however, they should be replaced every 3-4 months.

Cough Drops
Cough Drops can give your throat a break from coughing and discomfort. Always remember to read the label before you buy. Avoid buying cough drops that have fructose or corn syrup. Sugary products will feed harmful bacteria inside your mouth that will contribute to the development of cavities.

Vomiting
Some conditions cause sick people to throw up. Most of us tend to brush our teeth right away after vomiting. Some dentists will tell you not to. Brushing your teeth right away will spread the stomach acid throughout your teeth. Rinse your mouth with a water/mouthwash or water/baking soda mixture before brushing.

Hydration
Hydration is key when you’re sick. Some medications will cause your mouth to dry up which will increase your chances of developing cavities. When it comes to hydration water is always the best choice. Beverages such as sports drinks may replenish electrolytes, however, some may come with tons of sugar. Hot tea can also be soothing but remember to avoid sugar and lemon if possible. Sugar will cause cavities and the acidity of the lemon is not beneficial for your teeth.

Oral Hygiene is always important. Daily toothbrushing, avoiding sugary products and staying hydrated will make you feel better and lead to a speedy recovery.

Source: American Dental Association