It’s Flu Season Again!
I’ll be honest … when I’m treating a sick patient, I’m glad I’ve got my mask. I’m not without sympathy, though. No matter how much vitamin C, echinacea, or zinc lozenges we take to keep illness at bay, everyone is vulnerable during cold and flu season. I’m not just concerned with your dental health – I’m concerned with your overall health, as well; as much as I hope you or a loved one is not affected by the flu this season, I’ve got some useful information to protect your teeth if you do fall ill. Read on to learn more.
Flu Tip #1 – Avoid Sugary Cough Drops and Throat Lozenges
Sugary cough drops may taste better, but they’re not more effective at staving off a cough. Instead of sucking on drops that will coat your teeth with sugar and invite bacteria to form, find sugar-free options that will soothe your cough without harming your teeth.
Flu Tip #2 – Stay Hydrated
Cold and flu medicines can dry you out, slowing the natural production of saliva. Saliva has multiple functions, one of which is irrigating debris and bacteria from your teeth to minimize the chances of decay. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water – even if you’re not taking any flu medications – to help keep your teeth clean between brushings.
Flu Tip #3 – Stick to Your Regular Dental Hygiene Routine
You’re chilled, you’re aching, you can’t eat…you can barely sit up to sip water! Brushing and flossing may be the last thing on your mind when you’re sick, but it’s important to muster up the strength to stick to your regular dental hygiene routine. Keeping your teeth clean helps to keep bacteria and flu-causing germs from collecting on your teeth, so prop yourself up over that sink and get rid of those germs. Once you start feeling better, it’s a good idea to use a new toothbrush so you don’t recontaminate yourself with the one you used while you were sick.
May you stay happy and healthy this flu season, but if you don’t, be sure to take care of your teeth. If you care for your teeth the way you care for the rest of your body, they’ll be around to see you through decades worth of cold and flu seasons. Be well!