Caring for your teeth when you are sick is as important as taking care of your body. Learn some simple tips for caring or your dental health when you don’t feel your well:
When we are sick, our energy levels drop and our desire to do even the simplest of tasks can be zero. Children and adults alike can feel this way about the day-to-day demands of oral hygiene. Toothbrushing may seem like a chore that in the morning or at night children just don’t want to even think about when they are feeling sick. Falling into bed may be the number one priority. However, when children are sick, working to eliminate mouth bacteria is essential for overall wellness. Plus, it just makes them feel more normal when they stick to a routine.
Speaking of toothbrushing, according to the Cleveland Clinic, it is a good idea to replace your child’s toothbrush after he is over his illness. It is a simple act to ensure that lingering bacteria don’t reinfect your child, or infect someone in your household.
If your child shares a bathroom where toothbrushes are stored close to each other, discontinue this practice. It is best that toothbrushes do not come in contact with one another that are being used by different household members.
Cough and throat drops can really come to the rescue when symptoms are painful or ongoing. But, these little candy-like soothers can wreak havoc on young mouths. Essentially, as the cough/throat drop dissolves, your child is sucking on something akin to candy. Sugar is sugar. But, it isn’t just the sugar that can harm your teeth. Cough drops also have acid properties. Prolonged exposure to citric acid can also cause tooth enamel to dissolve.
So, when reaching for some soothing throat or cough drops, reach for sugar free to avoid some of these pitfalls. And, dodge the gummy versions of cough drops too. These stick to little teeth which can lead to cavities and endanger teeth enamel as well.
Sore tummies can lead to vomiting. Unfortunately, that means that your mouth is exposed to stomach acids that can be very harmful to your teeth and mouth. One would think that the first thing you should do is reach for your toothbrush and brush away. However, this is not the case.
“Acidity from stomach acid is a PH of approximately 1 to 2. This acid can be very destructive to the enamel. Patients may not be aware that brushing the teeth following these events will cause erosion of the enamel,” according to Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) Magazine.
Instead, RDH advises that you should rinse with water mixed with baking soda after vomiting to neutralize the stomach acid. Wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth.
You probably don’t really think about the role of saliva, but it has one. An important one. Saliva contains important elements such as bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate. These elements not only neutralize plaque acids, but also help repair early tooth damage and decay.
Many cold and flu medicines can have a side effect of dry mouth. Without normal levels of saliva working to safeguard teeth, teeth are left vulnerable. Combat this by drinking water frequently to keep a moist environment in your mouth. Also, those sugarless cough drops we mentioned earlier? They can help keep the production of saliva moving.
When we are sick we may be drawn to electrolyte-heavy drinks to rehydrate our systems. However, use these sparingly since many of them, most of them, are full of sugar. Instead, opt for water as your main source of fluids when you are sick.
Taking extra steps to safeguard your health when sick can make all the difference to how you recover and how you feel after you recover.