Ask a Family Dentist: Does My Mouth Need Special Treatment While I Am Sick?

One of the most frequently asked questions a family dentist receives is how to effectively provide oral care when sick. Whether a parent is looking to ensure that they maintain their own good oral health during illness or want to make sure their child does not develop oral health concerns, knowing what precautions need to be taken can be incredibly useful.

Tips from a family dentist

There are certain things that everyone can and should do to ensure that the mouth is properly treated and kept clean while sick. The following are several useful insights from a family dentist on how to effectively care for the entire mouth, including the teeth and gums, until a full recovery is made.

How being sick affects your oral health

Before diving into how to care for your mouth when sick, it is important to understand why oral health concerns are more likely to develop during an illness. First and foremost, more common illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu, are the result of either a viral or bacterial infection, and it is important to keep your mouth clean and free from harmful bacteria during this time in order to protect the teeth and gums and to recover from illness quicker. Another reason teeth and gums are more susceptible to damage is because of the medications that are typically taken, such as cough syrup, which can leave harmful substances on the teeth and cause dry mouth.

How to care for your mouth while sick

There are several things that can be done to ensure that your or your child’s oral health is not in jeopardy while sick, including the following:

  • Practice good oral hygiene
  • Avoid sugar-rich medication
  • Stay hydrated at all times
  • Get plenty of rest

By practicing good oral hygiene, which should include brushing, flossing and using mouthwash several times a day, most of the harmful bacteria and food particles can be washed away and the mouth kept clean. It is also helpful to choose medication and food sources that do not contain high levels of sugar and to stay hydrated to ensure that bacteria do not accumulate on the surface of the teeth and gums.

When to visit the family dentist for treatment

In many cases, it is best to wait until you or your child recover from illness before scheduling an appointment with the family dentist. However, it is always a good idea to go in for a routine cleaning and oral examination following an illness to ensure that the teeth and gums are still in good condition and any signs of oral complications have not developed.

Talk to a family dentist today

If you or your child are in need of oral care treatment for any reason, feel free to consult with us and schedule a time to come in for a visit. We can help you and your children through various dental procedures and ensure that their mouth stays clean, healthy and looking great at all times.

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