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Autumn is here, and it’s starting to get cold. That means cold and flu season is on its way. Health disorders like the cold and flu can actually influence your oral health. The bacteria or virus that caused your illness can spread to your mouth and weaken its defenses. Here’s what you can do to fight back:

Vomiting causes acid to spread throughout your mouth and can wear away at your enamel. However, brushing won’t help; it will only spread the acid around further. If you have vomited, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. To clear out that yucky taste and some of the residual acid, you can rinse your mouth with a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.

Drinking the right fluids can help treat colds and the flu, but for your oral health, you’ll want to avoid drinks that contain sugar. Bacteria will turn sugar into acid in your mouth. Choose sugar free Gatorade, herbal tea, and water. It’s important to stay hydrated as much as possible. Get your vitamin C from supplements, medicines and real fruit instead of orange juice. Are you fond of cough drops? Look for the sugar-free versions.

Even though you are suffering from a cold or flu and may not feel like doing anything, please remember to continue your daily oral health care routine including brushing and flossing. Never share or use some else’s toothbrush as your risk for colds and the flu will increase.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Kenneth Lewis and our team at Lewis Family Dentistry. We can be reached by calling us in Fayetteville, North Carolina at (910) 488.0518 We look forward to helping you.