As temperatures drop, it can become harder to keep your child’s oral and overall health in tip-top shape. Cold and flu season often cause children to miss school and spend days laying on the couch coughing, sneezing, and feeling exhausted. While you work to help their body recover, it’s also important that you make sure their teeth and gums don’t fall victim to decay and disease. Here are four tips to remember that will ensure your child’s smile remains healthy even while they combat the cold or flu.
Keep Them Hydrated
Having your child drink plenty of water while they’re at home is one of the best possible remedies. When their nose is stuffy, making it hard to breathe, they’re likely breathing through their mouth while asleep. To keep their oral cavity from becoming dry, it’s essential they drink enough water. Not only does it keep them hydrated and flush out toxins from the body, but it helps their salivary glands to remain functional. As a result, they can continue to wash away bad bacteria that will try to wreak havoc on their teeth and gums.
Continue to Brush Their Teeth
No matter the age of your child, make sure they’re brushing their teeth. They may not feel like it, but it’s important they remove bacteria and harmful particles from their mouth every morning and every night. If they don’t feel like getting out of bed, that’s okay! You can help them brush right where they are while offering a glass of water and a spit cup. This will help to keep their teeth and gums free of anything that might try to burrow and create cavities or cause inflammation or infection.
Be Mindful of Their Toothbrush
Your child’s pediatric dentist recommends that their toothbrush be replaced with a new one after any type of cold or flu virus. The reason is that germs can live within the bristles long after your child is better. To keep from reinfecting them, it’s best to toss out the old one and let your child pick out a new brush. You can also boil the toothbrush to help eliminate many of the germs. You’ll also need to keep your child’s brush away from others in the household to prevent the spread of the cold or flu.
Rinse After They Consume Liquid Medications
Many of the most common liquid medications that are designed to combat cold and flu symptoms contain lots of sugar. If your child is consuming this type of medicine, make sure they rinse immediately after. This prevents any of the contents from sticking to their teeth and potentially causing cavities to form.
No parent wants to see their child sick; however, when it happens, make their oral health a priority. By keeping these tips in mind, they won’t have to worry about dealing with a dental problem that requires immediate attention once their body recovers.
About the Author
At Brush Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Mira Albert leads a team of pediatric dentists who make it possible for little ones to achieve healthier smiles. As cold and flu season quickly approaches, she and her colleagues work together to help parents and children understand the importance of proper oral hygiene at home. By recommending certain tips and tricks to keep teeth and gums feeling their best during this time, they can minimize the potential for emergency dental visits due to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. If you have a sick child at home and want to make sure their oral health remains in good shape, contact us at (630) 504-2223.