How to Take Care of Your Mouth During Cold & Flu Season

Dr. Allen Sun of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. Allen Sun, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

Here we are in mid-February, also known as the cold & flu season.

If you are one of the unlucky people who will have a close encounter with the new flu virus this year, there are some things you can do orally to reduce the impact on your health.

Maintaining good oral health can free you from the clutches of bad germs and viruses. Make sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to avoid plaque build-up because it contains bacteria that can negatively impact your oral health.

If you’re exposed to the flu virus (which can happen by simply touching any surface harbouring the germ) then touch your mouth, you can compromise your teeth & gums, and you’ll increase your chances of developing the flu. Always try to use a hand sanitiser after touching any shared public surface that could harbour a nasty virus.

Sick person in bed with tissue
Get Well Soon!
If you do develop a cold or the flu, try these simple steps to minimize the length & severity of your illness:

Gargle frequently with salt water or mouthwash. If you have a sore throat, gargling with salt- water or a mouthwash approved for use on sore throats can help to kill-off sore throat causing germs and speed your recovery.

Keep your saliva flowing. Drink lots of water because fluids help your body to combat the virus and keep your mouth moist. Living with a dry mouth (common with a cold or flu) is bad for your teeth because you need a steady flow of saliva to fend off plaque.

Keep your toothbrush in a clean container. After use, make sure your brush does not contain any food particles or residue by rinsing it thoroughly under a hot water faucet because toothbrushes are a fertile breeding ground for many strains of viruses and bacteria, including the nasty ones that cause colds and flu. If you store your toothbrush in a container with disinfectant or mouthwash, be sure to use a new solution each day.

Replace your toothbrush! Using a toothbrush that was used while fighting an infection can cause a re-infection.

“Even though your body has recovered from the flu virus, it can still be thriving in your toothbrush and make it`s way back into your mouth causing a re-infection.”
Because your toothbrush is used to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth, it can become contaminated with saliva, blood & bacteria, and be a breeding ground for germs and microorganisms.

Even though your body has recovered from the flu virus, it can still be thriving in your toothbrush and make it`s way back into your mouth causing a re-infection.

Remember… As soon as you’ve recovered from a cold or flu discard your toothbrush and purchase a new one.

Yours for better dental health,

Put Your Best Smile Forward!

Visit Laurentian Dental Today for Your Optimal Dental Health.