From Our Santa Monica Dentist: Don’t Forget About Your Smile When You’re Battling Colds Or Flu

by Dr. Follette

When you aren’t feeling well you might notice some changes your smile, and your energy levels are also generally depleted. This is totally normal, but lack of adequate dental care may actually prolong your suffering, and create secondary oral health issues that you have to deal with down the road.

So, with that in mind, our Santa Monica dentists have made note of some simple steps that you can take to maintain oral health when you’re ill. Let’s get started!   

Here are some of the simple things that you can do to prioritize your smile:

  • Brush strategically

Make sure to stick to your dentist’s recommendations when it comes to brushing your smile. The general recommendation is to brush morning and night, but people dealing with health issues may benefit from also brushing after lunch. Another thing to consider is whether it is time to swap your old toothbrush for a fresh one—old bristles can harbor viruses and bacteria.

  • Stay hydrated

It is so common for people to become dehydrated when they are ill, especially if they are vomiting. Plus, many of the medications we use to treat congestion create dry mouth as a side effect. Keep a water bottle within reach and set timers to remind you to drink throughout the day. If you are under the weather, make a concerted effort to minimize your consumption of soft drinks and juices, in favor of water.

  • Use products with Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute, which is less appealing to oral bacteria than sugar. So, when you are choosing your mouth rinses and cough drops, try to pick formulations that use Xylitol rather than sugar. The goal is to starve out the harmful bacteria that cause dental cavities, bad breath, and gum disease!

Periodic and even chronic illness doesn’t have to derail your smile too. Give our Santa Monica dentists a call to learn more and to schedule a personal consultation—we look forward to speaking with you!