It’s that time of year: flu season. While we can get the flu at any time during the year, the number of flu cases generally peaks between December and February. Most people get concerned about how to treat their symptoms and many forget that taking care of your teeth and mouth is just as essential, for a few reasons.
According to the American Dental Association, the flu virus can live on a toothbrush for up to 72 hours. It’s incredibly important to change your toothbrush or toothbrush head immediately after being sick so that you don’t keep reintroducing dangerous bacteria into your body.
Furthermore, one of the most common symptoms of the flu, vomiting, causes harmful acid to enter into the mouth and sit on the teeth. The longer that the acid sits on the teeth, the more damage it does to teeth enamel. Although brushing immediately after vomiting would make sense to many people, it will just move the acid around the teeth even more. The better action to take is to swish water around the mouth or rinse with baking soda to reduce the amount of acid in your mouth.
The final danger to our teeth when the flu rears its ugly head is the use of cough drops that are coated in sugar. These cough drops seem to be increasing in number, but there are alternatives available. Many brands, including Ricola and Halls, sell sugar-free cough drops that are much easier on the teeth and don’t create more acid-producing bacteria.
The flu wreaks havoc on our body while it’s in our system. If you take the proper precautions, you can ensure that it’s not wreaking the same amount of havoc on your teeth.
If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.
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