Dentist West Hartford Caring for Your Smile While Sick

Tips From Your Bloomfield CT Dentist!

During the winter, it’s common to fall under the weather. According to ADA dentist Dr. Gene Romo, when you’re sick, taking care of your body should be a top priority and that includes your mouth. There are a few helpful steps to follow to care for your dental health when you’re sick.
 
Practice Good Hygiene
Always cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Covering your mouth helps prevent germs from spreading and getting other people sick. It’s also important to keep up with your dental and toothbrush hygiene. The CDC reports that the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. You probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, but if you’re skeptical, you can throw it out. You should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. 
 
Stay Hydrated 
Your Bloomfield CT dentist recommends drinking a lot of fluids when you’re sick. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it also can  help prevent dry mouth. Dry mouth can be uncomfortable, but also put you at risk for cavities. The medication you’re taking to get better such as antihistamines, decongestants, or pain relievers can dry out your mouth. It’s suggested that you drink plenty of water. Water is the safest, most effective beverage to drink when you’re feeling ill. Your Bloomfield CT dentist recommends drinking sports drinks like Gatorade to replenish electrolytes, but you should consume them in moderation. Sports drinks often contain a lot of sugar and too much sugar can lead to cavities. 
 
Aside from water and sports drinks, you may want to drink tea, but try not to add sugar or lemon if you can avoid it. Sugar can fuel cavity-causing bacteria and lemons are acidic. Keep this in mind when making tea to warm up your body when you’re sick. 
 
Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops
If you have a sore throat or a cough, you may want to have a cough drop to ease the pain and/or cough. Before you do so, read the label to avoid ingredients such as fructose or corn syrup. Sugar is the cause of cavities and the more time you keep a cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on the sugar. This produces an acid that can leave holes in your teeth.
 
Swish and Spit After Vomiting
A side effect of having the stomach flu is vomiting. Rather than brushing your teeth immediately after throwing up, it’s better to wait and give it some time. Brushing too soon can lead to brushing stomach acids all over your teeth. It’s suggested that you swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse, or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away.  Spit and brush about 30 minutes later.
 
If you're looking for more helpful tips, don't hesitate to call our Bloomfield serving dentists at (860) 521-6767.