Your Dentist in Carrollton Stresses Good Oral Care During Flu Season

A woman covering her mouth. According to medical experts in the United States, 2018’s flu season is likely to be the worst in recorded history. With 46 states reporting widespread flu disease, maintaining hygienic habits couldn’t be more important, especially when you’re already sick. That’s why your dentist in Carrollton is stepping in to make it easier for those caught with the flu.

While sipping chicken soup, blowing into tissues, and taking medication, it’s important you don’t forgo your oral care regimen. Today, we’ll be discussing why oral care is so important to maintain while you’re sick and the best habits to keep in mind.

Practice Proper Hygiene

As difficult as it is to move out of bed when you’re sick, make the effort to brush twice a day and floss once a day. If you currently share your toothbrush with your siblings or significant other, cease doing so immediately to avoid spreading the flu virus to them. According to the CDC, the flu virus can survive on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours, so sharing a moist toothbrush is a sure way to do it. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months to keep your mouth effectively clean.

Say Hydrated and Avoid Dry Mouth

When you’re sick, you lose a lot of fluids every day. This means you’ll likely have chronic dry mouth for the entire time you’re sick. When your mouth is dry, you’re far more susceptible to getting cavities, so make it an effort to replace those fluids.

If you’re taking antihistamines, decongestants, or pain relievers, you’ll need to balance them with additional water intake as these can also dry out your mouth.

The Best Fluids to Consume

The best fluid to drink while you’re sick is plain water. While sports drinks can replenish lost electrolytes, they also contain a lot of sugar. Only drink them in moderation and don’t let drinking so often become a habit in the future.

Instead, try making a hot cup of tea without adding any sugar or lemon to it. Sugar fuels cavity-causing bacteria and the acidic traits of lemon will only wear down your tooth enamel.

If Vomiting Consistently, Rinse Your Mouth

Every time you vomit, stomach acid coats the surface of your teeth. Instead of brushing right after, which only rubs the acid all over your teeth’s hard outer shell, rinse your mouth with a diluted mouth rinse. You can also create a mixture of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. After spitting that out, brush 30 minutes later.

Opt for Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Many cough drops contain high amounts of sugar, so read the label to confirm how much is in the cough drops your using. Look for sugar-free cough drops to soothe your throat without increasing your risk of cavities in the process.

Don’t let the flu disrupt your oral health. Schedule an appointment with your family dentist in Arlington to make sure no cavities appeared while you were sick!

About the Author

After Dr. Kimberly Capua earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Baylor College of Dentistry, she pursued many continuing education courses to learn the most current dental techniques. She’s also a member of the Texas Dental Association and the Dallas County Dental Society. To learn more about her practice, contact her at (972) 418-1822 or visit her website.

A resident of Texas since 1970, Dr. Capua has lived and practiced in the North Dallas / Carrollton area since 1991. She earned her dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, graduating in 1989. Prior to becoming a dentist, Dr. Capua practiced as a dental hygienist for five years. Dr. Kimberley Capua has been a dentist in Carrollton since 1989. She is married with one son and enjoys traveling, museums, music, skiing, and boating. Her affiliations include the American Dental Assiciation, the Texas Dental Association, and Dallas County Dental Society. Dr. Capua performs sedation dentistry and is nitrous oxide certified.