Experts agree that this isn’t only the worst flu strain we’ve seen in a while, but it’s also the most widespread. The flu season started early and half of the US is reporting high flu activity. There’s still time to get vaccinated, though. However, it it’s too late and you’ve been bitten by the bug, here are a few dental tips that will at least keep your mouth healthy.
How to have a healthy mouth when you’re sick:
- Don’t Forget to Brush. When you’re sick, everything seems like an effort, including brushing your teeth. But don’t skip this important habit. You may find it even makes you feel better to have a fresh and clean mouth.
- Drink a Lot of Water. The flu dehydrates your body quickly, as do decongestants and antihistamines. For your overall health, drinking lots of water is important, and more so when you’re running a fever and your body is fighting infection. Water also creates saliva in the mouth which washes away bacteria and keeps you from having dry mouth.
- Sugar Free Medicines. From cough drops to cough syrup, over the counter medicines are surprisingly high in sugar. Cough drops in particular are problematic because they are the equivalent of sucking on candy. Look for sugar free options to avoid lingering sugar on your teeth.
- Gargle with Salt Water. Dissolve a tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle and spit the warm liquid until it’s all gone. This cuts down on harmful bacteria in your mouth and throat, reducing the effects of bad breath and plaque.
- Toss Your Toothbrush. When you’re on the mend and feeling 100%, toss that toothbrush you’ve been using (or toothbrush head if you use an electric toothbrush) and replace it with a brand new one.