When You’re Sick, Here’s How to Take Care of Your Mouth

Whether it’s a worldwide pandemic like COVID-19, the seasonal flu, or anything in between, it will take your health on pause in an instance. These viruses aren’t just common colds. For up to a week or longer, these conditions might leave you fatigued, worn out, and downright depressed. 

Taking care of your body comes first when you’re feeling this way. Yet, most people are unaware that your oral health has a big impact on your recovery. We’ve compiled a list of the most straightforward ways to care for your dental health throughout these trying times. 

Following these steps will ease your pain and help you get back on track to wellbeing.

Maintain your oral hygiene regimen.

When you’re unwell, don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth. It will not only make you feel more refreshed, but it will also help you maintain a proper oral hygiene regimen. Remember, it is essential for your dental health. We recognize that brushing and flossing your teeth is difficult enough when you’re in good health. 

When you’re unwell, brushing and flossing play a significant role in a faster return to excellent health. These two exercises aid in the removal of cold and flu viruses from your tongue, on or between your teeth. So, no matter how fatigued or achy you are, you must keep up with your daily dental hygiene practice. 

Good oral hygiene practice includes the following steps:

Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste at least 2 times a day.

Flossing at least once a day, and washing your hands before and after, especially if you’re unwell.

At least once a day, use a mouthwash—ask Dr. Catt which mouthwash is best for you and your teeth.

Sugary and acidic foods should be consumed in moderation.

To avoid dry mouth, stay hydrated.

You may already be aware that you need enough fluids to stay hydrated and flush out the virus when you’re sick. Preventing dry mouth is a less prevalent (but vital) function of hydration. Dry mouth is not only unpleasant, but it also puts you at risk for cavities. 

The mouth’s first line of defense against dental caries is saliva. So, protecting against microbial invasion or overgrowth could lead to disease or cavities. Drinking fluids should therefore be a major focus.

After vomiting, swish and spit.

You may experience vomiting as a symptom of your illness. It’s natural to feel compelled to brush your teeth soon after vomiting. But, contrary to popular belief, it is preferable to wait. Brushing straight away will spread stomach acid throughout all of your teeth! Instead, try swishing with water to gently wash the acid away. 

After that, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Consider rinsing with salt water.

A saltwater rinse is certainly familiar to you as a home cure for a sore throat. But, did you know it can also promote healing and help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth? This is accomplished by temporarily raising the pH level in your mouth, making it more difficult for oral bacteria to grow. 

This makes it easier for the immune system to fight gingivitis and other bacterial infections. It can also reduce inflammation at the same time.

First, make a saltwater rinse.

12 teaspoons of salt dissolved in a cup of warm water.

For a few seconds, gargle the mixture.

For 10 seconds, swish the mixture around in your mouth.

If you ingest the salt water rinse, you will become dehydrated.

Repeat this rinse three to four times a week until you feel better.

Select the correct fluids.

When it comes to staying hydrated, the healthiest beverage option is always simple filtered water. While sports drinks may replace electrolytes, they should be consumed in moderation. Why? because they typically contain a lot of sugar. Adding lemon, lime, or fruit to your water instead is a fantastic suggestion. 

Teas are a great alternative if you want something warm to drink. Sugar can help feed cavity-causing bacteria. If you want to add some sweetness, consider using honey. We recommend disinfecting your toothbrush brushes once you start to feel like yourself again. 

Here are some examples of how to proceed:

For 30 seconds, swish the bristles in antibacterial mouthwash.

Two tablespoons of baking soda should be dissolved in a cup of water, then the toothbrush should be put in the solution.

Before brushing, swish the toothbrush bristles in the solution. Then, mix 1 teaspoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water to make it less strong.

Once a week, soak the bristles in vinegar overnight.

Choose sugar-free cough drops.

Cough pills are an excellent way to get some relief from coughing. However, it is critical to read the ingredient label carefully before purchasing anything. Examining the amount of sugar in each cough drop is an excellent idea. 

Many cough drops, unfortunately, resemble candy. The longer you leave a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the longer cavity-causing bacteria has to feed on it.

Don’t let anyone else use your toothbrush.

Did you know that a cold virus may survive for up to 24 hours on the surface and the flu virus for up to 48 hours? To avoid spreading your illness to a partner, kid, family member, or roommate, keep high-touch surfaces clean while you’re unwell. This goes for your toothbrush as well. 

Keep your toothbrush away from other people’s toothbrushes and don’t share it. When you’re unwell, this is a vital and simple thing to do to keep those close to you healthy. Sharing your toothbrush is an easy way to spread a virus when you’re sick, but it can also be harmful to the person who receives it. 

This is because everyone’s mouth has a unique bacterial makeup — billions of germs and an average of 30–40 different bacterial strains! When you share a toothbrush with someone else, you could give them your bacteria, which could make their immune system react to something new.

Replace your toothbrush.

When you feel better, switch to a new toothbrush to get rid of any bacteria that may have lingered on your old one.

Replace your toothbrush.

When you feel better, switch to a new toothbrush to get rid of any bacteria that may have lingered on your old one.

Final Thoughts

During the cold and flu season, it is critical to maintaining good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding sugar and acid, and following correct toothbrush etiquette will help you stay healthy when you’re sick. But make sure your oral health is in top shape all year. 

To keep your teeth and mouth in great condition, keep in mind to visit your dentist regularly to safeguard your teeth in the long run.

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