So, you have the flu. Or maybe you got lucky and you just have a cold. Whatever has you down, chances are good that brushing your teeth is one of the last things on your mind. But as much as you may want to bury yourself under a blanket until you feel better, you don’t get a pass on taking care of your teeth. In fact, brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash may actually make you feel a little better.
Sugar can be a problem for your teeth when you are sick. Cough drops, cough syrup, and even that old standby, hot tea can cause problems. Cough syrup and drops often contain sugar and can cause cavities. So, when you start to feel sick and are stocking up on those things, look for varieties that are sugar-free. A cup of tea may make you feel better but be sure to leave the sugar and lemon out. Sugar can give the bacteria in your mouth a free meal to cause cavities, and lemon contains acid. Sports drinks are also high in sugar, so it’s best to keep yourself hydrated with water.
Speaking of acids, the flu has been known to be accompanied by vomiting. Vomiting brings the acid from your stomach up into your mouth, where it can damage your teeth. When this happens, you should rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, and then brush your teeth about thirty minutes later.
If you have questions about taking care of your teeth when you are under the weather, our dentists, Drs. Higham and Sauchelli will be happy to talk with you. If you live in the Jupiter, Florida, area and would like to make an appointment, call 561-746-8095 today to plan your visit.