Oral Care When Sick

A sick woman using a tissue for runny nose.

Cold and flu season is just around the corner! Despite our best efforts, sometimes it can be impossible to avoid getting sick. When it comes to your smile, there are a few special considerations to take next time you catch a bug.

Replace Your Toothbrush

Flu viruses can live up to 72 hours on a moist surface, making your toothbrush an ideal place for the harmful virus to linger. While it is never a good idea to share a toothbrush with someone else, you should absolutely avoid it when you are sick. Storing your toothbrush close to other family members’ brushes also risks them coming down with your bug. It is wise to stash your toothbrush away from others and replace it once you recover to prevent reinfecting yourself. As a rule of thumb, toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months. So, it may be time to get a new one anyway!

Use Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Sugar is a common sweetener in cough drops. Although they may soothe a scratchy throat, most cough drops contain comparable amounts of sugar to hard candies. The longer a cough drop is in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria have to attack the sugar it transferred to the teeth. It is also wise to avoid cough drops with ingredients like fructose and corn syrup; both are unhealthy for your oral and overall health. Next time you have a sore throat, use sugar-free cough drops to prevent developing tooth decay during your cold.

Rinse Mouth After Vomiting

Many people’s first instinct after vomiting is to brush their teeth, but it is actually better to wait. Your teeth are covered with stomach acid after you throw up. If you brush your teeth too soon, you will end up rubbing harmful stomach acids all over your teeth. Instead of brushing right away, swish and spit with water or diluted mouthwash. A half-hour after vomiting, it is safe to brush your teeth.

Prioritize Hydration

Proper hydration is essential when fighting an illness. Many patients experience dry mouth due to dehydration from vomiting or not drinking an adequate amount of water. Dry mouth is a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers. This condition is not only uncomfortable, but it also increases your risk of tooth decay. For many individuals increasing water intake can prevent dry mouth, especially after losing fluids from vomiting. Chewing gum or sucking on sugar-free cough drops can also stimulate saliva production.

Drink Tooth-Healthy Beverage

Sports drinks do a great job at replacing electrolytes while you are sick. However, you should still stick to water as your primary beverage. The average 32 oz sports drink has more than 56 grams of sugar; that’s approximately 14 teaspoons! Sports drinks are high in sugar and acidic. Both characteristics contribute to tooth decay. Sugar-free sports drinks are a more tooth-friendly option to drink in moderation.

Many people enjoy a comforting cup of tea when they are sick. Numerous studies have found that green tea has many benefits for oral health. Although, it is best not to add lemon or sugar to your cup. High sugar consumption leads to tooth decay, and lemons are acidic, which erodes tooth enamel. If you do prefer a dash of sugar or lemon juice in your tea, try to brush your teeth 30 minutes after you finish.

Stay Healthy This Flu Season!

It is easy to let simple things, like brushing your teeth, slip when you aren’t feeling well. Stay up on your oral hygiene routine and keep these tooth-healthy tips in mind to prevent your illness from taking a toll on your smile.

Posted on behalf of Majestic Smiles Studio

17300 Yorba Linda Blvd Suite B
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Phone: (714) 996-2255


Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday - 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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By far THE best dentist I have ever been to! Dr. Maria Gutierrez is brilliant at what she does. Her professionalism, efficiency, and grace is amazing. Dr. Gutierrez, her dental assistant Veronica and the office manager Nicole made me feel completely comfortable and taken care of. It is very obvious that the staff there truly cares for their patients. Besides the amazing customer service, their work is PERFECT! my teeth are shining like never before and look marvelous. If you have ever had any questions about visiting this business, hesitate no longer! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!
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The best dentist I've ever been to, this place is awesome ! As everyone knows, going to a dental office typically isn't a celebratory and pleasant event! However, my experience here changed my outlook on dentistry for the better. Nicole the office manager was very kind and set the appointment for me even though I had to be back to my office by 9 AM and I needed to have an appointment closer to 7 AM, she moved things around and accommodate me and promised I won’t be late to work. Veronica(who administered the X-rays and assisted Dr. Gutierrez) was thorough, kind, and very knowledgeable, which was a great start. Then Dr. Gutierrez came in to conduct the examination and assess what work needed to be performed. The sincerity she exhibited for my well being was admirable and her exceptional skill became immediately evident. I've been to several of the top dentists in Southern California, and this was by far the most impressive experience. Their price point was reasonable, the building was quite nice, and the level of care is top notch. In addition, the hygienist Stephanie was fantastic. She approached your cleaning with the perfect balance of gentleness and rigorousness. The photo studio for before and after pictures was very useful for me to see the huge difference. If you need a new dentist, this is the place. They've gained a lifelong patient in me! I hate going to the dentist. Not because I'm scared, but because I despise mouth and dental related pains. I don’t have high tolerance for pain, dental pain for whatever reason is 10 times more, but I did full sets of veneers and didn’t feel any pain! I highly recommend Majestic Smile Studio and Dr. Gutierrez and her team.
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17300 Yorba Linda Blvd Suite B
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Opening Hours

Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday - 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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