When flu season comes around, plenty of people out there have their minds fixed on making sure to invest in medicine to keep from getting congested. Plenty of people also concern themselves with staying warm and cautious of exposure to potential infections. These are all perfect priorities to have for cold and flu season when it comes, but beyond that, there’s got to be proper attention paid to dental health as well.
Dental care may not be the number one thing on everybody’s mind when it comes to what they feel that they can do to stay on top of flu season, but make no mistake, it is imperative to make dental health a top priority when flu time comes around. In addition to staying hydrated, the following are a couple of top things to consider when managing your dental health during cold and flu season.
Conscious Cough Drop Choices
Since coughing is so prevalent during the flu season, it can be very tempting for many people to go a little bit crazy with the cough drops. Now there’s nothing at all wrong with just taking a cough drop every now and then to keep the throat clear, but beyond that, you’ll want to pay attention to the sugar content of those cough drops in particular. Specifically, you’re going to want to aim for cough drops with a reduced sugar level. You don’t want to counterbalance the value of your cough drops by choosing the ones that are essentially just like hard candy. Super-sweet cough drops will provide the kind of bacteria residing in cavities more sustenance to feed on. By avoiding those saccharine cough drops, you cut off the source of the very things that could damage your teeth further.
The Tooth Brushing Factor
In some cases, you can find yourself suffering from stomach problems as a result of cold and flu season bacteria that attack the gastrointestinal tract. If this happens to you, then it’s not unusual to experience symptoms like vomiting. If and when vomiting happens, you can do a lot of good for your teeth by making sure to use mouth rinse instead of immediately resorting to brushing.
It can seem like an obvious course of action to just immediately brush your teeth after vomiting, but contrary to popular belief, that’s not going to be the strongest strategy in your repertoire. Brushing teeth is almost always a hallmark of conscious dental care in any other context, but in the case of flu season, you’re going to want to make sure that you opt for a mouth rinse instead of going straight for the brush right away.
Immediately brushing your teeth could potential multiply the surface area of vomit’s harmful acidic components. By opting to rinse, ideally with a bit of baking soda, you can efficiently take care of the acid without accidentally spreading it. Brushing later on after the rinse, such as half an hour or so, will be much more effective than doing so immediately afterward. The flu virus can easily linger on the surface of teeth for long as three days. In addition to not reaching for the toothbrush right after the stomach has been purged, knowing not to share toothbrushes during flu season is especially vital.
Why dental care should be a top priority while sick
While most people know very well how important it is to stay on top of their health in general during flu season, it’s doubly imperative for dental health. The heightened proliferation of bacteria means more power to the germs that can potentially damage your teeth and gums with cavities.
It can be easy to get so focused on fighting the specific sickness causing you duress that you lose sight of more subtle things falling by the wayside; teeth, unfortunately, can easily be one of these easy-to-miss factors. The acid in the stomach that resurfaces due to vomiting and coughing can immediately impact the teeth by corroding the enamel. With diligent dental care despite these symptoms, however, you can immediately put your teeth in a better position to survive your sickness and stay strong.
If you want to take a fully comprehensive approach to dental health preservation, Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics can help. We’ll give you the benefit of a full repertoire of strategies and services to ensure that you have all your dental needs met all year round, flu season or otherwise.