For many of us, coming down with a cold may seem inevitable once winter hits. A cough, tickly throat or sniffing may be stopping you from getting on with your day. But did you know that a having a cold or flu can effect your dental health? Caring for your teeth may not be your top priority when you’re feeling ill, nonetheless, it’s important that you stay on top of your dental health.
Not only can drinking lots of fluid help with alleviating the symptoms of your cold, but it can also benefit your dental health. When you’re sick, your body loses fluids and you may feel dehydrated. This can cause dry mouth, with leaves you at risk of tooth-attacking bacterial acid. What’s more, if you have a blocked nose and are forced to breathe through your mouth, the situation can be made even worse. Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep drinking plenty of water when you’ve got a cold or flu.
If you feel you’ve recovered from your cold but continue to use the same toothbrush, you’re risking your chances of catching a cold once more. To prevent this, it’s best practice to replace your toothbrush with a bacteria-free one once you start feeling yourself again. This is one of the most underrated dental health tips.
You should regularly gargle with a mouthwash or salt water during cold and flu season. All you need to do is pour a tablespoon of salt water into a glass with warm water and stir as it dissolves. You can then gargle and spit once or twice until the water is gone. Gargling will rid your mouth and throat of harmful bacteria, eliminating a lot of the effects of bad breath and plaque.
No doubt you’ve been sucking on cough drops to try and soothe your throat, particularly before bed. They keep coughing fits at bay and help to maintain the flow of saliva – preventing dry mouth. However, much like sweets, cough drops can still cause tooth decay as well as cause harm to gums. Instead of cough drops, ask your pharmacy for medicine that’s sugar-free (often sweetened with xylitol or sucralose).
Taking your medicines before toothbrushing is best – it is important not to consume anything other than water after brushing your teeth before bed. This is a tip that many people aren’t aware of – you have less saliva flow when sleeping which makes you even more susceptible to cavities. Although sugar free medicines are better, it is best to avoid using them before sleeping. Throat sprays can be used, however.
It may seem obvious but keeping up with brushing your teeth is a crucial during cold and flu season. You may be feeling overwhelmed with your cold, and less motivated to take care of your teeth. But there’s a lot of potential damage in the mouth when you’re sick, so it’s important to keep on top of it. Ensure you’re still brushing twice a day, not forgetting to floss or use tepe brushes.
So, the next time you come down with a cold or flu, remember our dental health tips for a healthy, clean mouth. For further information on any of the services we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01925 756565 and book a completely free consultation. You can also book online by following this link.