Healthy Teeth in Fall and All Year Long
Colorful leaves. Cooler weather. Warm, fuzzy robes and slippers. The holidays are fast approaching too. Fall brings so much joy to our office. The one exception? Illnesses that arise from the flu and cold season. Getting sick can certainly leave anyone bed-ridden and full of body aches. Talk about taking some of the fun out of fall!
We know how challenging it is to pull yourself out of bed when fighting sickness. Even subtle movements can feel like moving a mountain. We’re told that the best defense during this time is to take care of our bodies. This advice includes your teeth, which can take considerable damage if oral hygiene is ignored while sick. Make sure to support optimal health during this time by caring for those pearly whites.
Water is Your Best Friend
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Mom is onto something with that wisdom. When we’re sick, we tend to drink less because it can feel uncomfortable. However, drinking water as much as possible with the cold or flu will decrease the risk of dry mouth considerably. Dry mouth is undesirable because it can cause cavities. Without proper saliva production, our teeth hang onto debris and plaque that could’ve been washed off otherwise.
Water should also be used to rinse after vomiting. Stomach acids that come into contact with the teeth can cause serious damage, making our teeth susceptible to decay. Try to avoid brushing your teeth right away as doing so could spread the acids around further. Giving your mouth a good rinse will help wash the acids away without causing more damage.
Minimize Sugar Intake While Sick
We know you won’t be reaching for cake or chocolate when under the weather. We’re referring to cough drops and liquids like sports drinks that contain sugar, which contribute to cavities. When it comes to consuming liquids, keep in mind that juices can be sugary and very acidic. As mentioned with our tip above, we recommend rinsing with water after consuming a juicy drink. As for cough drops, they can assist with saliva production, so aim for sugar-free to keep that mouth nice and moist.
Try, Try, Try Again
Creating an oral hygiene routine prior to any illness is a real game-changer when it comes to motivating yourself to brush your teeth while sick. During the first few days of an infection, this may still prove to be an impossible feat. Our advice is to never give up.
Consider what it will take for you to actually brush your teeth. Even 30 seconds is better than zero seconds. In our experience, we have found that many people feel fresher and even a little bit better after brushing their teeth. Positive acts of self-care tend to attract positivity in general.
If brushing twice a day just isn’t in the cards, then brush once. Do what you’re capable of in that moment. Keep floss by your bedside so that you only need to lift a few fingers. Also, whenever you go to the bathroom, use an alcohol-free mouth rinse before climbing back under the covers. Mouth rinse provides a quick and easy way to keep your mouth fresher and cleaner than if you were to do nothing at all. Just remember that it can’t replace brushing, so whenever you can brush your teeth again, do it!
After all is said and done, you will see the light of day. Feel free to replace that toothbrush to put any sickness far behind you. Fall and winter will still be there for you to enjoy once you’re healthy again.
Whether you have been sick or not, it’s wise to optimize your oral health with a cleaning. Contact us today and make that appointment.