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How to maintain perfect oral health when sick

Whether it’s the flu or a stomach bug, our oral health can suffer we’re feeling under the weather.

Even the common cold can have more of an effect on your teeth than you might expect!

As winter is coming to a close, it is important to understand how to keep your oral health up to scratch.

Your overall health can cause serious damage to your oral health. Here are three examples, and what to do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Vomiting

Vomiting promotes enamel decay.

The fluids in your stomach are acidic and when pushed through the mouth, can be damaging to the enamel on your teeth. The enamel is the defensive layer of your teeth and if work out, your teeth become more prone to decay.

What to do: Don’t brush your teeth straight away. Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly with an alkaline solution of water and baking soda to neutralise and wash away the acid before brushing.

Spreading Bacteria

Our toothbrushes harbour bacteria, saliva and blood. If your symptoms are contagious, its best to isolate your toothbrush, to lower the risk of contamination.

What to do: Continue to brush and floss even when you’re ill (except after you’ve just vomited). Keep your toothbrush separate from others in your household to prevent spreading the infection.

Most importantly: NEVER SHARE TOOTHBRUSHES!

Once you’ve recovered, throw out your old toothbrush and purchase a new one.

Dehydration

Staying hydrated is vital to maintaining both oral and general health.

This can be especially important when you’re ill. Your body may be more likely to lose fluids while fighting an infection, which means you could be at a much greater risk of dehydration or dry mouth.

A lack of saliva in your mouth can put you at an increased risk of dental decay and gingivitis. Saliva washes away food particles and acid in your mouth, helping to regulate the bacteria in your mouth.

Certain cold & flu Medications, link antihistamines & decongestants, can cause dry mouth.

What to do: Drink plenty of water and, if needed, suck on sugar-free lozenges to encourage saliva production. But try to avoid drinks or lozenges that are full of sugar – all the extra sugar can heighten your risk of tooth decay!

These are some handy tips to help you and your family stay healthy during the end of this flu season.

For more tips and tricks ask one our friendly staff here at Everton Park at your next appointment!

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