When you fall ill with anything from the seasonal cold to a tough fight with the flu, you need to take care of your body with rest, hydration, and medication. This focus on self-care should extend to your oral health as many symptoms of sickness can negatively impact your teeth and gums.
When you get sick, drink fluids to minimize dry mouth, rinse out your mouth if you vomit, and use sugar-free cough drops. Combined with regular brushing and flossing, these three practices will maintain your oral health and make you feel a bit healthier during your sickness.
1. Hydrate to Avoid Dry Mouth
When you get sick, there are many contributors to dehydration. If you have a fever, your body sweats out water, your body may not absorb water if you vomit or have diarrhea, or you could be too nauseous to want to drink anything.
It is essential you stay hydrated because hydration helps flush the sickness out of your body and keeps your mouth from becoming dry and adding to your discomfort.
Dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands are not producing enough saliva. Dry mouth primarily occurs because of dehydration or decongestant medication when you are sick. It can lead to cavities, gum disease, a sore throat, and bad breath.
Combat dry mouth by drinking lots of water. The best way to stay hydrated is by drinking sips of water every few minutes rather than large amounts all at once.
2. Rinse Your Mouth After Vomiting
If your sickness is causing you to vomit, it is important to treat your mouth afterward with a baking soda solution mouth rinse. Vomiting brings stomach acid into contact with your teeth and gums.
Stomach acid decays teeth and enhances tooth sensitivity. While your first instinct may be to brush your teeth to remove stomach acid and the vomit taste from your mouth, this is not recommended.
Rather than brushing, which pushes stomach acid onto your teeth, rinse your mouth with a baking soda and water solution. While mouthwash is good for killing viruses, a baking soda solution is best after vomiting. The baking soda counteracts the high acidity of stomach acid, so your tooth enamel isn’t damaged.
3. Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops
Cough drops offer sick people comfort during their sickness but choose a sugar-free option for your oral health’s sake. Cough drops stay in your mouth for a long time, and if they have sugar, they expose your teeth to cavity-causing bacteria.
Take Care of Your Mouth and Get Well Soon
Being sick is no fun, and it can lead to cavities or gum disease if you don’t maintain your oral hygiene regimen. Make sure that does not happen by brushing and flossing regularly, hydrating, rinsing your mouth after vomiting, and using sugar-free cough drops.
At Caputo Dental, we have a dental team ready to provide you with comprehensive, comfortable, and informed dental care. We specialize in family, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. Contact us today to set up an appointment.