Cold, Flu and Cavities
As if feeling rotten with coughing, sneezing, body aches and a runny nose was just not bad enough, cold and flu season can contribute to getting cavities!
Far-fetched, you say? Not at all! Consider the following points:
Illness = Less Brushing
When you’re sick in bed, you are less likely to make the effort – or force your kids to make the effort – to brush and floss with the same regularity that you would at other times. It’s only natural but it’s also detrimental to your oral health! Tartar builds up quickly when plaque isn’t removed daily.
Sinusitis Is a Pain in the … Tooth?
Have you ever noticed that your upper molars hurt a little when you have a bad cold, including stuffed sinuses? That’s because the sinus cavity is right above them. Blocked and irritated sinuses can cause tooth pain.
Also, if you are stuffed and breathing through your mouth, your gums could be dry and getting irritated. Medication can also contribute to dry mouth.
The Doctor Prescribes Lots of Liquids But…
You need lots of fluids when you are ill, to flush out the body, but take some time to consider what liquids you are ingesting. Drinks that are high in acid – like tea with lemon or orange juice – or sugars, like ginger ale – are all affecting the enamel on your teeth while you are resting and recuperating. Be sure to continue your brushing routine or at the very least, rinse your mouth out with water after drinking something acidic or sugary.
Speaking of Sugar
Cold medicines, in particular the liquid variety, are chock full of sugar to say nothing of being thick and sticky, leaving a residue on your teeth that isn’t easily diluted by saliva. This is done to make the liquid more palatable but dosing yourself with it multiple times a day leaves a lot of sugar in your mouth, coating your teeth. For adults, a pill form is certainly a better option but if you can’t swallow them or the medicine is for a young person, make sure to rinse with water after taking the medication!
Cough drops – like hard candy – are also full of sugar, which stays in your mouth and on your teeth. Several big brands do make sugar-free varieties, so check out the availability at your local pharmacy and stock up for the season!
You need to know that vomit contains acids – stomach acids – which are harmful to your teeth, to say nothing of icky tasting. Rinse your mouth out with water after an episode to get as much of the acid, and taste, out as quickly as possible.
Here’s to hoping you have a relatively cold and flu free season and don’t forget that Orion Dental offers a complete range of dental services, including regular checkups and cleanings, teeth whitening, conscious sedation dentistry,cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery. If you’re looking for a dentist in Milton or a dentist in Scarborough for the entire family, call us to book an appointment and let’s get started!