It’s tempting when you are sick to neglect your oral health. This is a big mistake, and one that we at Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics don’t recommend. It can be very hard to motivate yourself when you have a cold or flu bug to get out of bed. You may be achy, tired, have a fever, and just feel terrible in general. The temptation is to post up on your couch, or in your bed, and binge watch movies until you feel better. That could be days going by without tending to your oral health, depending on how long your illness lasts.
As a dentist in Vero Beach and Melbourne, Florida a lot of our patients ask if it’s bad to go without brushing or flossing when they are sick. The simple answer is yes. Don’t do it. Resist the urge to skip taking care of your teeth and gums because problems can occur even with just a couple of days of neglect. Let’s look at why dentists recommend that you don’t sleep on your oral health even when you are feeling sick.
Cleaning Your Mouth Can Boost Your Spirits
When you have a dirty mouth, it can contribute to you feeling even worse while you are sick. You know the feeling when you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, it’s pretty gross. Your mouth can feel slimy, the tongue fuzzy, and let’s not even talk about your breath. Yuck! That’s why it’s so important to brush twice a day and make sure you floss at least once per day. It can simply boost your spirits, as well, to have a clean mouth when you are ill.
Cough Drops Leave a Residue On Your Teeth
If you have a cold with a cough, you’re probably using cough drops to soothe some of that throat irritation and hacking cough. Sometimes those cough drops aren’t sugar-free. It’s best to choose a brand that is without added sugars. You definitely don’t want to contribute to the chance of getting cavities by having a cough drop in your mouth on and off all day that is full of corn syrup or fructose. A few days of that can make your next visit to the dentist in Vero Beach or Melbourne, Fl a problem. We are more likely at Vero Implants & Periodontics to find that your x-rays, along with your exam, are showing some cavity spots in the back of your teeth. You’ll want to avoid that with good oral health habits all of the time.
A Note on the Stomach Flu
The stomach flu is a particular problem for teeth. If you find that you are vomiting often during a bout of the stomach flu, it’s still important to brush and floss your teeth. The key is to wait at least a half-hour after you have been sick. Your teeth are coated with stomach acids that you don’t want to grind further into your teeth and gums.
Rinse your mouth with some alcohol-free mouthwash or just plain water. You can also neutralize those stomach acids in your mouth by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda and water to swish around and rinse. Do this if you can tolerate it while you are sick, but if you can’t, regular water is fine too.
Staying Hydrated While Sick
Another important part of oral health while you are sick is to stay hydrated. Having the right amount of electrolytes in your body is very important. You’ll feel better if you can stay hydrated, and it will help your oral health too.
If you are becoming dehydrated while sick, drink some unsweetened coconut water, 100 percent fruit juice, or electrolyte-infused water that doesn’t have added sugars. Snack on watermelon, bananas, or avocados for a boost of beneficial potassium.
Change Your Toothbrush After You Are Well
Keep in mind that after you get well, it’s beneficial to change your toothbrush. The fact is that germs can survive in the bristles of your toothbrush, and you could potentially get the illness again. That’s something you want to avoid. It’s always proper to have a few backup new toothbrushes in your linen closet, so that you are never without one.
Maintaining proper dental health while sick, we know, is a challenge. You’re probably tempted to just sleep right through it, but when you realize how important it is for the wellness of your mouth, you’ll feel better knowing that even while sick, you are taking care of your body the right way.
Contact the Melbourne and Vero Beach Experts
If you have additional questions about maintaining your oral health while you are feeling down, give us a call. We are more than happy to give you some tips and to reschedule an appointment for you until you are feeling better. Contact us here and we hope you feel better soon.