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Fall is here, and it’s starting to get chilly. That means cold and flu season is approaching. Illnesses like the cold and flu can actually influence your oral health. The bacteria or virus that caused your illness can spread to your mouth and weaken its defenses. Here’s what you can do to fight back:

Vomiting causes acid to spread throughout your mouth and can wear away at your enamel. However, brushing won’t help; it will only spread the acid around further. If you have vomited, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. To clear out that yucky taste and some of the residual acid, you can rinse your mouth with a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.

Drinking the right fluids can help treat colds and the flu, but for the sake of your oral health, you’ll want to avoid drinks that contain sugar. Bacteria will turn sugar into acid, which can cause tooth decay, in your mouth. It’s important to stay hydrated as much as possible. Get your vitamin C from supplements, medicines, and real fruit instead of orange juice. It is also helpful to choose sugar-free cough drops.

Even though you are suffering from a cold or flu and may not feel like doing anything, please continue to faithfully brush and floss. Never share or use someone else’s toothbrush, as your risk for colds and the flu will increase.

Feel free to contact Dr. Mohamed Waheed and our team at Elite Dentistry PC with any questions. We can be reached at (630) 592.8116. Our dentist and team in Addison, Illinois, look forward to serving you and your smile!