It’s that time of year when everyone is feeling under the weather. While we try to avoid even talking about the common cold, nasty stomach bugs and flu symptoms, it’s important to be prepared for when they strike. The best way to fight sickness head on is to take the best care of your body—and that includes dental health. While this is some advice we hope you won’t need this season, we will share the best way to fight sickness and maintain dental health with you just in case.
Here are four ways to fight sickness by caring for your teeth:
1) Cover your mouth, nose…and toothbrush.
Most of us are good at keeping our mouth and nose covered when coughing and sneezing, but when was the last time you made sure all the surfaces you touched were disinfected? Making sure that the surfaces we touch (or that touch items that touch our mouths, like our toothbrush) are also being cleaned and covered. Viruses, bugs and bacteria spread on surfaces and since most of us store our toothbrush in the bathroom,it is imperative to keep the spot our toothbrush calls home clean and bacteria free. We recommend getting a simple plastic toothbrush cover to keep your brushing buddy happy and healthy! Most importantly, no matter how much you may want to help a family member score compliments at their next Krengel Dental visit, never ever share your toothbrush!
2) Don’t forget to Swish!
Nobody likes talking about the V word, but there’s no need to beat around the bush when addressing the flu. Vomiting is an unfortunate part of dealing with illness that is hard on our bodies and teeth. The spread of acidity can be damaging to your teeth, so it is important to keep your mouth clean. Because brushing can actually spread some of the acids around your mouth, we recommend that you use mouthwash (even diluted mouthwash will work) to swish and remove the harmful acids from your mouth right away.
3) Say yes to sugar-free
We are all guilty of getting a little too attached to our cough drops during those dark moments of sick season. While they can help soothe a sore throat, cough drops can be loaded with sugar and just as harmful on our teeth as candy. To keep away from any dental damage caused by sugar, don’t forget to be aware of the kind of cough drop you choose. We recommend choosing a sugar-free option that saves you from high levels of fructose and corn syrup so that you don’t have to worry about any cavities forming.
4) (Always) Make H20 your best friend
Cold temperatures are notorious for causing dryness, and our mouths are just as prone to the dryness as the rest of our body. Just like your skin may need some extra TLC in the weary winter months, your body and mouth can use the extra fluids to feel replenished and hydrated. Your body is in need of extra water to stay healthy, happy and comfortable. A dry mouth can actually increase your risk for cavities, so combating dryness by befriending your water bottle at all times is a great way to care for your teeth as well as your skin, body, etc. We recommend challenging a family member, co-worker or friend to see who can get the minimum of 8 glasses of water a day.