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Cold and Flu Season: Tips to Care for Your Mouth When You're Sick

 

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It’s that time of year again when everyone around you starts coughing and sniffling. We understand your oral hygiene may not be top priority when you’re sick, but having the flu or cold can affect your mouth. Remember taking care of yourself when you’re sick should be your top priority. Getting the flu shot, washing your hands and avoiding those who are sick can help you reduce the risk of illness. One of the most overlooked preventative measures is the practice of good oral hygiene.

1. Practice Great Oral Hygiene

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Please continue to brush and floss daily. Did you know according to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours? We recommend either changing your tooth brush head after you’ve been sick or opening a new one.

2.Pick up sugar free cough drops

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Always check the label prior to picking up cough drops; please avoid ingredients such as fructose or corn syrup. If you buy cough drops with sugar, you are basically eating candy throughout the day. Sugar is one of the main causes of dental cavities.

3. Stay hydrated

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When you’re sick, you need to drink plenty of fluids. When it comes to staying hydrated water is the best option for you. Dry mouth is a common problem as well, especially when you aren’t able to breathe through your nose easily or are taking certain flu medications. Saliva plays a key role in controlling cavity causing bacteria, dry mouth can increase your chances of cavities and gum disease. You can avoid dry mouth by drinking water, soups and juice.

4.Gargle with salt water

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Dissolve a tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle and spit until the water is gone. This can help cut down on harmful bacteria in your mouth, reducing bad breath and plaque.

 

After taking flu medication, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest, you should be back on your feet in no time. Please consider the tips above, when you are under the weather. Give our office a call to schedule a routine dental hygiene appointment and checkup, once you are feeling better.

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