Our Santa Monica Dentist Helps You Maintain Oral Health When You’re Sick

by Dr. Follette | Date Published: 2020-02-11

When you’re under the weather, be it with a cold or the flu, you may find that your oral hygiene suffers as a result. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it; illness throws you off of your regular routine, and the same virus and bacteria that keep you sick may be affecting your smile.

Today, our Santa Monica dentists are sharing some tips on how to maintain optimal oral health even when you aren’t feeling your best.

When you are ill, especially if you are vomiting or dealing with sinus issues and stuffy noses, you may notice:

  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed oral tissues (your inner cheeks may become more sensitive, and your gums may swell and become more prone to bleeding.

The good news is that there are simple things that you can do to refresh your smile and boost your oral health at the same time:

  • Drink plenty of water—staying hydrated is crucial to regaining whole-body health. Plus, when you drink water, you rinse away dental debris and troublesome plaque. Plus, sipping on water throughout the day jump-starts saliva production. Saliva is your body’s natural way of fighting oral bacteria and enamel demineralization.
  • Avoid sugary products—sugary drinks and treats can ramp up oral bacteria growth in your mouth. Bacteria use the fuel from sugars to multiply in short order. When you are sick, and likely dehydrated, it is especially important to choose water over soft drinks and processed juices.
  • Keep your smile extra clean—ramp up your oral hygiene routine by rinsing your mouth more frequently throughout the day—definitely after you eat. You can even use a specially-formulated rinse to freshen your breath and kill oral bacteria. You may have the urge to brush your teeth more frequently, but remember that brushing is abrasive, and brushing too hard or too often can lead to enamel erosion and gum damage.

As always, our Santa Monica dentist can give you all of the guidance you need if you’re not sure how best to care for your smile. Give us a call!