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Cold/Flu Season and Dental Health

Illness can wreak both mental and physical havoc on the body. And while the common cold and the flu bring the most noticeable symptoms to various parts of the circulatory system, it can also have a negative impact on our dental health.

Good hygiene is absolutely important when you have a cold or the flu. Did you know that the flu virus can survive for seventy-two hours? That means that your toothbrush is contagious with the virus even after you’ve gotten over it. So, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone during the cold and flu season (Although it’s best to keep to this rule year round). It’s probably important also to throw out the toothbrush once you begin to feel better. It can be hard to get rid of a toothbrush early, but you don’t want recontamination, nor do you want to spread it to anyone else with whom you share bathroom space. But it’s not all bad with your toothbrush. While you are sick the act of brushing your teeth can leave you with a reinvigorated feeling; it improves your outlook. Remember to keep to a schedule of brushing at least twice daily and flossing once.

One common symptom of illness is dehydration and dry mouth. You may experience dry mouth because of dehydration or even as an unfortunate side effect of certain medication—antihistamines, for example, are notorious for causing dry mouth. You want to drink lots of fluids while you are sick. Dry mouth can leave the teeth susceptible to a cavity. And choose the right fluids when you’re sick. Yes, sports drinks are a good balance in the body when you’re sick, and oftentimes are used to replenish the electrolyte storage in the body, but you’ll want to drink them in moderation, and remember to brush your teeth soon after consuming them.

Hopefully you remain healthy, cold-and-flu-free, this winter season, but if you don’t then remember to take care of yourself. The winter months are also a terrific time to come in and see your dentist at Premier Smile for a checkup.

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