Posted on 4/30/2019 by Dr. Leary
|You've got the flu, and you probably feel pretty miserable. As bad as it may be, you still need to take steps to protect your teeth. This guidance can help.
Rinse Out Your Mouth after Vomiting
Should you acquire a stomach bug that causes you to throw up, it is important to care for your teeth properly. While you may be tempted to brush your teeth after vomiting, this can actually spread harmful stomach acids around your enamel, causing tooth damage. Instead, swish some water around your mouth to rinse it out, and then spit.
Swap Out Your Toothbrush
To be safe, consider swapping out your toothbrush after you have the flu or a cold. This will prevent reinfection. This is especially true if your toothbrush is older and has reached its 3-4 month lifespan. You should also keep your brush away from those of your other family members so that your germs can't spread to get your loved ones sick.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dry mouth is a big concern when you are sick, so it is important that you drink plenty of water. Dry mouth will increase your risk for cavities, and it is also uncomfortable and the source of halitosis. Certain medications that you take for a cold or the flu can further dry out your mouth, but sipping on water regularly can help it to stay well-lubricated.
Avoid Sugary Cough Drops and Cough Syrup
If you need to take an over-the-counter cough medicine, be sure to read the label first to avoid sugary products. Many varieties are high in sugar, making it the equivalent of candy. This can lead to cavities, especially if you find it difficult to care for your teeth while you are ill. Cough drops are especially harmful, and the longer the sugary cough drop is in your mouth, the more damage it can cause.
Do you suspect that you are suffering from an oral health problem after your illness? If so, please give our office a call today.