Tips to Protect Teeth While Sick

Whether you are suffering from the flu or simply a common cold, being sick is no fun. Your main concern during this time is to rest and rejuvenate. Taking care of yourself should also include your teeth. Consider these 4 simple ways to care for your teeth when you’re under the weather.
Stay Hydrated
The body in general functions much better and fights off illness more effectively when hydrated. The same is also true of the mouth. Many cold and flu medications can dry out the mouth, creating a more favorable environment for cavity formation. By staying hydrated, your mouth—and in particular your saliva—can do what it does best: prevent dental disease. 
...But Drink the Right Fluids
When you’re sick, one of the most common things you’ll hear from doctors and everyone else is to “keep fluids in you.” But nobody ever says what fluids, do they? The bottom line is that there are right and wrong fluids to use for hydration purposes. Without a doubt, water is best. It contains no sugar and is best at hydrating the entire body and mouth. Many people turn to sports drink when sick, thinking that they are a reasonably healthy fluid for use during a time of illness. Most of these drinks contain lots of sugar, and may even have acidic properties, which can wear down enamel. By sticking to water, you get the best hydrating effect and protect your teeth at the same time. 
Choose the Right Medicines
Speaking of being sugar-free, be wary of cough drops and lozenges that contain sugar. Sucking on sugar-laden lozenges all day can wreak havoc on your teeth as the sugar sits there and breaks down tooth enamel. Instead, opt for a sugarless variety. 
Rinse After Vomiting
If you are experiencing an illness that comes with vomiting, it is very important to rinse your mouth each time you vomit. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, which can quickly eat away at tooth structure. Many people feel the urge to brush after vomiting—this may not be the best idea, as brushing in the presence of stomach acid could cause harm. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water, or a mixture of water and baking soda, which will neutralize the acid. 
By following these steps, you can prevent your illness from adverse effects on your oral health. 
Have questions for your Indianapolis dentist? Give Tenth Street Dental Care a call today at (317) 358-8885.

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