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How to Protect Your Smile During Cold and Flu Season

February 27, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drpollard @ 10:38 pm
Person suffering from a cold or flu surrounded by remedies

The last thing you need after recovering from a cold or flu is a toothache caused by a cavity. Unfortunately, it may be more likely to happen than you think. There are a lot of factors that increase your risk of tooth decay when you’re under the weather, including both the symptoms you suffer through as well as how you treat them. Here are four dentist-approved tips to protect your oral health as you treat your sickness.

#1 Don’t Forget to Brush

Being sick can easily leave you exhausted, which may make it very tempting to skip your regular brushing and flossing routine. However, there’s even more bacteria in your mouth than normal when you’re sick! If you don’t keep up your regular healthy habits, that bacteria will continue to accumulate and eat away at your enamel.

#2 Watch Out for Sugary Medicine

Cough syrup and throat lozenges can be a great way to treat cold and flu symptoms. They even come in a wide variety of fun flavors! Unfortunately, most of them are brimming with sugar. Just like candy, cough syrups and throat lozenges leave behind a coating of sugar that can get stuck between your teeth for extended periods of time. To keep your smile safe, try using sugar-free options instead.

#3 Stay Hydrated

One of the most common symptoms of a cold or flu is nasal congestion. Dealing with a stuffed-up nose means that you’re much more likely to breathe through your mouth. Additionally, many decongestants and other medications hinder your natural saliva production. Both factors lead to a dry mouth, which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It even causes your enamel to become weaker since saliva helps strengthen it. Sipping water throughout the day keeps bacteria at bay and encourages saliva production. Drinking tap water provides an added bonus since it often contains fluoride, which will fortify your teeth against tooth decay.

#4 Drink Popular Beverages Safely

Many people like to choose beverages that can keep them hydrated while combating some of their symptoms. For example, a hot cup of tea can help soothe a sore throat and a glass of orange juice can boost your immune system. While beneficial, these drinks are also very acidic, which means they can easily burn through your enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to decay. Thankfully, you can keep your smile safe by enjoying these drinks through a straw! It may seem silly at first, but your smile will thank you later.

When you’re finally feeling better, remember to throw out your toothbrush and get a new one to prevent reinfection! With these simple tips in mind, you can fight off cavities as you treat your cold or flu.

About the Practice

At Dental Renaissance in Plano, TX, we firmly believe that great oral health provides a strong foundation for general wellbeing. That’s why we encourage all our patients to visit us twice a year for their dental checkups and cleanings! Our experienced and friendly team goes above and beyond to ensure that you receive superior oral health care that will help keep your smile bright and beautiful for years to come! If you’d like more tips for a healthy smile, feel free to contact us at our website or (972) 423-0880.

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