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You can’t be too careful when it comes to contracting an illness during cold flu season. Feeling sick? These oral hygiene habits may help:

Be consistent

Anyone can adopt impeccable oral hygiene for a day or two- even a week- but the key to dental health is consistency. Brushing and flossing regularly, with routine visits to your dental provider is integral to overall oral health and hygiene.

Think of your oral care regimen as getting rid of the cold and sickness bacteria that could be hanging around your teeth and gums. If you don’t remove them, they can easily spread and transmit germs to others when you talk, eat, laugh, or cough.

Drink water

Drinking plenty of water is great for flushing illness, germs, and bacteria away. Staying hydrated helps keep you at your most immune, flushing away toxins that come into your path. Water also gets rid of residual sugars that can accumulate on teeth. Even if you can’t brush, take time to rinse with a glass of water after snacks to prevent cavities.

Be careful of waters that are infused with things like citrus or flavorings that could contain hidden sugars or chemicals. Also, while citrus does provide a healthy pop of Vitamin C, the acid can be hard on your tooth enamel over time.

Be wary

Be cautious and check the labels of the over-the-counter meds that you take when feeling under the weather. Many times, the syrups and lozenges that you buy for a cold or flu are loaded with sugars that can damage your teeth. Instead, look for options that contain natural sweeteners like honey, which also can soothe a sore throat.

Also, see if the medicine contains citric acid which can deteriorate the enamel on your teeth over time; many citrus-flavored products contain this as an ingredient.

Change your toothbrush often

Do not wait to replace your current toothbrush. Germs can linger on the bristles, subjecting you to more illnesses every time you brush. Did you know that flu germs can remain on surfaces like your toothbrush for 3 days? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends replacing your toothbrush any time you are feeling unwell. Keep a stash of brushes on-hand for these types of situations but stick to soft-bristled brushes to protect your dental enamel.

Do not underestimate the importance of maintaining hand hygiene, too. Wash your hands frequently, using hot water and hand soap, vigorously to ensure you are not spreading germs when feeling poorly.

Visit your dentist

Part of holistic health and wellness is dental care; talk with the providers at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC. If you are feeling sick, pay extra attention to your oral hygiene habits to keep germs and illnesses at-bay. Call to schedule family dental care in the region.