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! 


When you sit down to make your resolutions for the new year, please keep your smile in mind! Now is the perfect time to take a look at your oral hygiene routine, and make some small changes that will really add up. Keep reading to learn more from our Santa Monica dentist!

Upgrade your dental tools

Now is the time to evaluate your dental tools and swap any old ones out for new and fresh oral hygiene instruments. Keep in mind that most patients should be swapping out to a new toothbrush every few months. Also, if you’ve recently recovered from an illness, grab a new toothbrush to minimize your risk of re-infection. Our dental team can give you additional information about whether you’d additionally benefit from a WaterPik or specially formulated mouth rinse.

Schedule your professional cleanings

Take the time now to plan when you’ll come in for your professional dental cleanings and assessments. Most patients should be seeing a dentist every six months or so. Talk to your dental team if you feel like you may need more frequent assessments due to ongoing oral health issues.

Drink more water

One of the simplest thing that you can do to boost your oral health is to increase your water consumption. Try carrying a water bottle with you during the day, or scheduling water breaks using a timer on your phone. Remember, every time that you are able to swap out a different beverage with water, you are making a good decision for your smile.

Our Santa Monica dental team is here to help you achieve your goals this year. So, please feel free to give us a call to learn more or to schedule your own consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!


If you are sick with a cold or flu, your oral health probably isn’t your priority. Depending on how sick you are, it can be an exhausting thought just to drag yourself out of bed, much less head to the bathroom to brush your teeth!

However, neglecting your oral hygiene at this time can, unfortunately, can mean bad things for your teeth and gums. Your Santa Monica, CA family dentist doesn’t expect you to be an oral health superstar during this time, but taking care of yourself now can minimize the risk of developing cavities and other oral health issues.

Protect Your Oral Health While You're Sick

Here are a few easy things you can do to protect your oral health, so look them over so you can be prepared the next time you get sick:

  • Put floss on your nightstand – Daily flossing is critical for preventing gum disease, so keep floss on your nightstand. That way, you will be more likely to use it while you are lying in bed with nothing else to do!
  • Stay hydrated – It is common to get dry mouth when you are sick, but the lack of saliva promotes bacterial growth. Many cold medications are also dehydrating, so keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Sucking on sugar-free cough drops can also help stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • Don’t skip brushing – It may be the last thing on your mind, but brushing is just as important when you’re sick. You may be surprised at how brushing can help you feel refreshed, and it has the added benefit of removing decay-producing plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
  • Rinse with water after vomiting –Unfortunately, throwing up is often part of being sick. You will probably be tempted to brush immediately after to get rid of the unpleasant taste in your mouth. However, the acid levels rise in your mouth after vomiting, which can weaken dental enamel. But rinsing with water neutralizes the acid in your mouth and help stop erosion.

Please Call Our Office

If you have questions about caring for your oral health, please call the Santa Monica, CA family dentist. We will be happy to assist you and schedule an appointment for you if necessary!