Posted .

Winter is here, and unfortunately, this means cold and flu season is right behind it. Here are some oral health care tips for when you’re feeling under the weather.

First, there are some oral hygiene items to attend to. Make sure that you are brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. Never share your toothbrush–especially if you are sick. Be sure to continue to floss every day.

The flu virus can live on surfaces, such as a toothbrush, for 72 hours. While it is unlikely that you will reinfect yourself (unless you are severely immunocompromised), those germs may cross-contaminate other toothbrushes and make other people sick. You may decide it is best to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head after being sick.

During your illness, it is good to reduce sugars and acids. For example, choose sugar-free cough drops. Otherwise, it has the same effect on your teeth as sucking on a piece of candy. The longer it is in your mouth, the longer your mouth bacteria can feed on the sugars and multiply, producing an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel.

Similarly, try to choose the right liquids. If you choose to drink sports drinks while ill, be sure to accompany then with plain water if you can, and choose varieties with little or no sugar. If you drink tea, try to avoid adding lemon and sugar.

For more information, call Doman Dental in Lehi, Utah, at 801-768-0404. Dr. Cliff Doman and our team are happy to help keep you well this season!