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When you’re down with a cold or the flu, you usually don’t want to do anything except lie in bed, feel sick, and hope that sometime soon, you’ll feel better. When you don’t want to move, the last thing you probably want to do is worry about your oral health. After all, your head, nose, joints and everything else is screaming for your attention. But even when you are sick you need to climb over that mountain of tissues and take care of your mouth and teeth.

You still need to brush twice a day and floss before going to sleep art night. If you are dealing with a cough, make sure you use sugar-free cough drops. Sugar causes cavities, and the longer you have a cough drop with sugar, fructose (which is the sugar found in fruits and fruit juices), or corn syrup in your mouth, the greater the chance you will develop cavities. When a cough strikes, reach for the sugar-free cough drops.

Staying hydrated is key to getting better, and is an important part of your overall health. But drinking water while you are sick can also prevent dry mouth, which increases your risk for cavities. Some of the medications you may be taking to address your symptoms may also dry out your mouth. So keep drinking water. It’s the best thing to drink when you are sick. While sports drinks can boost your electrolytes, they also contain a great deal of sugar, so they should be used in moderation. If you seek comfort in a cup of tea, try drinking it without sugar, and without lemon. The sugar, in combination with the acid from the lemon can promote cavities.

Dr. James C. Ma and the staff at James C. Ma in Bakersfield, California, are happy to answer your oral health questions and help you get the smile that you want. When you’re feeling better, give us a call at 661-324-9709 to make an appointment