When you’re not feeling well, getting better is your top priority. Taking care of your body is important and that includes taking care of your mouth, too. Taking care of your dental health is something that you work on all year, and it’s easy to let things slide when the flu gets you down. As flu season strikes the Fairbanks community, dentists suggest these 5 tips:
- Clean or replace your toothbrush. The CDC warns that the flu virus can remain on moist surfaces like toothbrushes for up to 48 hours. If you’ve been sick, keep your brush away from your family’s toothbrushes to avoid spreading the virus. Also, throw that brush away as soon as you feel better. Although the risk is low, there is a possibility of reinfection, especially if your immune system is weak or compromised already.
- Sugarless cough drops are best. Fructose and corn syrup turn cough drops into candy, and sucking on them all day provides constant fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. Read the labels before you purchase, and opt for the sugar free variety whenever possible.
- Rinse after vomiting. It’s an ugly side-effect of the flu, but it’s also a reality. Vomiting introduces incredible amounts of stomach acid into the mouth and this can be very erosive to the enamel. Rinse and spit as soon as you are able, using a mild solution of water and baking soda to dilute the effects of the acids.
- Manage dry mouth. Drink plenty of water to counteract the drying effect of cold medications. Otherwise, the dry environment of the mouth will become the perfect place for plaque and cavity bacteria to go wild.
- Brush your teeth. The flu makes you feel yucky, but getting up and brushing your teeth can give you an instant boost. Your mouth will cleaner and fresher and you’ll feel a little more refreshed in general.
When the flu strikes Fairbanks, don’t overlook the importance of your oral health. Talk to a dentist today for more advice on this topic.