WHEN THE COLD AND FLU SEASON STRIKES, your teeth and braces are probably the last things you’re thinking about as you reach for another tissue! But there ARE some things related to that cold or flu that can affect your oral health.
Since tooth decay and gum disease can be especially risky during orthodontic treatment, we want you to be conscious of these three things:
Tip 1: Avoid Dry Mouth By Staying Hydrated
Dry mouth increases cavity risk. Most colds come with a giant side order of stuffy nose. We respond by breathing through our mouths! Doing so, combined with decreased saliva production during sleep, makes our mouths more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.
Tip 2: Keep The Bad Stuff Off Your Teeth
- Are you sucking on cough drops all day? Most are loaded with sugar. Opt for sugar-free cough drops if possible. AND, be sure not to bite down on those super-hard drops.
- Cough syrup is loaded with sugar too. If you take cough syrup, rinse your mouth out before going back to bed.
- Stomach acid is hard on teeth. Sorry to bring this up, but if you’re throwing up, keep your teeth rinsed and clean.
Tip 3: No Matter How Tired…
We know it’s tough when you’re sick, but don’t skip your normal brushing/flossing routine just because you’re feeling really tired. Your oral health while you’re in braces is just too important to neglect.
A Few More Practical Tips For Staying Healthy
Stay healthy this flu season! Remember to sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often to keep viruses from spreading. If you have any more questions about measures you should take for your orthodontic treatment during cold and flu season, let us know! We want to ensure your treatment stays on track, even if the flu pays a visit to your home this year.