Have you ever struggled with helping your child maintain healthy oral hygiene habits when they’re feeling under the weather? When dealing with a fever, cough, or vomiting, your child’s oral health might be the last thing on your mind. Our team is here to help provide tips for keeping your child’s mouth clean and teeth healthy, especially when they’re sick.
Brush and Floss
Regular brushing and flossing help prevent build-up of harmful bacteria in your child’s mouth, which helps keep their immune system focused on fighting a cold or the flu. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken them.Try encouraging your child to rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid this type of damage.
When your child is sick, water can help them stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, congestion can cause mouth breathing, resulting in dry mouth. This lack of saliva can lead to increased risk of tooth decay. While sports drinks and ginger ale can help ease some symptoms, remember they contain sugar and can make the problem worse. Water should be your go-to to prevent dry mouth and congestion.
Be Aware of Sugary Medicine
Like sports drinks and soda, cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar. While sweeteners can make medicine more pleasant-tasting, they can also leave a residue on teeth and lead to decay. Look for sugar-free options when possible and have your child rinse well after taking any medicine containing sugar.
Disinfect Dental Appliances
If your child has a dental appliance such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser appropriate for your child’s device. When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush to prevent reinfection. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or other germs following use.
For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our Elgin, IL office.