Oral Care When the Flu or a Cold Strikes

When you have a cold or the flu, your oral health may also suffer. Not only can having respiratory symptoms make your mouth taste bad and your breath feel less than fresh, but you also may not feel like getting up and brushing and flossing as normal. However, taking care of your oral health is an essential part of getting better. These tips will help you get through your illness with your oral health intact.

Use Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Cough drops can help to ease your coughing and congestion when you have a cold or the flu, but be sure to pick ones that are sugar-free to protect your teeth. Regular cough drops are like pieces of candy, and when you suck on them, the sugar will build up on your teeth and feed bacteria. Check the label for ingredients like fructose and corn syrup, and opt for ones that say sugar-free on the package. If you can’t find any sugar-free versions of cough drops, limit your consumption of them and brush your teeth after eating one.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is always important when you are sick. In addition to helping your body heal, it also helps you avoid developing dry mouth. Dry mouth is a common problem when you’re taking cold and flu medications, because the antihistamines in these products can dry you out. Water is the best option, but tea without sugar, honey, or lemon will also help to prevent dry mouth without increasing your risk for cavities.

Brush and Floss as Normal

You may not feel like brushing and flossing, but it is important to do so, even when you’re feeling sick. You may even find that brushing and flossing helps your mouth feel fresh so you feel a little healthier. When your body is already fighting your cold or flu infection, adding gum disease or tooth decay into the picture will only prolong your illness.

At your next dental exam and teeth cleaning in Hazlet, ask your dentist at Glenwood Premier Dental about more ways you can protect your oral health for life. We treat everything from loose teeth and bad breath to gum disease and cosmetic problems. To make an appointment, call us at (732) 264-4477.