There’s not much worse than flu season, is there? If you or your family have been feeling out of sorts this season we can sympathize. Take good care of yourselves, and get as much rest as you can. Just don’t forget about caring for your teeth too while you’re on the mend.
Dr. Grossman has helped so many people in the Raleigh area take good care of their teeth and orthodontic devices while healthy and sick, you can trust his suggestions to help you when you’re feeling down yourself. Let Raleigh Orthodontics be your guide for how to prioritize and use oral health practices to boost your healing!
Learn How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy Even When You’re Sick
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Did you know that a dry mouth is a huge contributor to tooth decay? Surprising, we know! Your saliva is actually a huge component of what keeps the ecosystem of your mouth healthy. It naturally contains minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride that support enamel health that protect against bacteria and plaque growth.
When your mouth is chronically dry, like when you are congested or dehydrated, it can severely impact your teeth, especially when you have braces or another orthodontic device. Braces trap plaque more easily, resulting in plaque and tartar overgrowth. That’s why it’s really important to stay well-hydrated while you are sick.
Keep a bottle of water on hand throughout the day, and take sips regularly. This should replenish your saliva and dampen the mouth. It’s also helpful to consume foods that will nourish and hydrate you, like soups and broths.
- Consume What’s Good For Your Teeth
On the same note about what you should be consuming to boost your immune system and keep you hydrated, it’s also good to remember what food and drinks you should avoid. Sugary snacks and drinks will suppress your immune system, making it more difficult for you to get well. And sugar is a magnet for bacteria in your mouth to feed on and become plaque and tartar.
As we mentioned before, when you have braces or wear a retainer, it is especially important to keep plaque at bay. That is why we recommend avoiding sugar in general, but especially when you are sick and it’s harder to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. It might be good to avoid heavier foods like complex grains, fried, and processed food too. These tend to be more work for our digestive system, making it more difficult for your body to rest and recover.
Instead of sugar and heavy foods, try having simple carbs that are easy to digest like Saltine crackers or toast. And as mentioned above, soups, stews, and broths are nutritious and hydrating choices.
- Don’t Skip Brushing
Out of everything on this list, this might be the most difficult to accomplish. When you are exhausted, have a headache and body aches, probably the last thing you will want to do is drag yourself to the bathroom to brush your teeth. We totally get it but trust us that a couple of minutes of dental care can totally change the game.
Not only is it important to keep your teeth clean in order to reduce the damage of plaque and tartar on your braces or orthodontic devices, but it’s also great for your health to get your mouth clean. The cleaning combo of your toothbrush and toothpaste will remove a lot of bad bacteria that is growing on your teeth and tongue. A good swish of mouthwash can be helpful for killing more bacteria, too!
Don’t forget to clean your retainer if you have one! Brushing your retainer with lukewarm water and an alcohol-free mouthwash or hand soap will kill a lot of the germs that made you sick and will prevent you from putting them back in your mouth later!
- Switch Out Your Toothbrush
Many healthcare professionals agree that if you’ve been sick, it’s a good idea to get rid of your toothbrush and switch to a new one once you are recovering. This can be helpful to avoid reintroducing sickness-causing bacteria back into your mouth, increasing the possibility of reinfection. Dr. Grossman agrees; it certainly won’t hurt to toss the old toothbrush and start using a new one, just in case.
- Take Care of Yourself and Others by Staying at Home
While we usually love it when you come to one of our offices in Raleigh, Louisburg, Creedmoor-Butner, or Wakefield, the Raleigh Orthodontics team agrees that it’s probably best for you to stay home when you’re sick. Both for your own sake and for the health of our patients and staff.
If you are feeling sick, give us a call to reschedule any standing appointments and we’ll be happy to shift those for you! If you have a question about your braces or are having a serious problem that you can’t solve alone, call us and see what we can do to help. There may be some options for you to do at home until we can get you in for a visit!
We’re Here if You Need Us
At the end of the day, you’ll never be alone as you care for your teeth. In sickness and in health, Raleigh Orthodontics is here to support you and make it possible for you the have the healthiest smile possible, now and in the future. Call anyone of our four convenient office locations if you need to get in touch with Dr. Grossman or are interested in setting up your first appointment!