We all need a little support when we get sick, don’t we? Thankfully Scaffidi Orthodontics is here to support you as you figure out how to care for your teeth and orthodontics when you are sick. There are only so many things that we can worry about as we recover from illness, so let us help you make things easy!
Here is Dr. Scaffidi’s list of easy tips to help keep your orthodontics in check even when you’re sick.
Keep Your Teeth Clean
This advice might seem obvious now, but when you are feeling really sick the last thing you want to do is go stand at the sink and brush for a few minutes. But let us convince you why the effort is well worth it. If you have braces or any other kind of orthodontic device, your teeth are in a more delicate position than most people. You have a higher chance of getting plaque and tartar in hard-to-reach places that can then decay your tooth enamel, and cause cavities, gingivitis, and so many other problems.
That’s why we recommend putting in the time for a quick toothbrush at least twice every day. Your future smile will thank you. Plus you will be doing your immune system a favor as you flush away some of the bad bacteria that have been making you sick in the first place! Win-win!
One other reminder is for those who wear a retainer: it is essential that you clean your retainer every day. It doesn’t sound appealing to put dried saliva and bacteria back into your mouth, does it? Well, it’s even worse when you know that bacteria is what has been making you so sick! Go ahead and spend a couple of minutes scrubbing your retainer with lukewarm water, a toothbrush, and a gentle antibacterial cleanser of your choice–we like hand soap or alcohol-free mouthwash for ease and simplicity. After scrubbing well all over, rinse it off and you should be good to go take a well-deserved rest.
Stay Hydrated and Avoid Dry Mouth
Did you know that having a chronically dry mouth can be really bad for your teeth? It’s true! Your saliva is an essential part of your overall oral health, containing enamel-supporting minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride. When your saliva is reduced because of dehydration, mouth-breathing from congestion, or both, it can cause tooth decay and cavities down the road.
The best solution for managing a dry mouth is to sip water continuously throughout the day. This will boost your mouth’s natural dampness and encourage saliva production, and it will help with dehydration as well. If you are feeling really dehydrated, it might help to choose a sports drink or Pedialyte with electrolytes in it that will help you get hydrated more quickly.
Keep Bad Stuff Off Your Teeth
‘Bad stuff’ might sound a little ambiguous, but let’s just say: if it isn’t good for your body, it won’t be great for your teeth either. Sugar is especially bad for your teeth, and should be avoided a lot of the time. But considering that your energy and ability to clean your teeth is reduced when you are sick, it means that the sugar might stay on for longer, causing more plaque buildup and tooth decay. Do your body and your teeth a favor by avoiding sugary drinks and snacks when you are sick.
Switch Your Toothbrush
The purpose of a toothbrush is to help scrub germs, plaque, and food particles out of your teeth. But that means that it often traps those things in its bristles, and you can end up reintroducing it back into your mouth when you brush again. It’s not a big deal when you are healthy and you continue to brush and rid yourself of the bad things. But when you are sick, it can be a problem.
We recommend that once your health starts improving, it’s a good idea to toss the old toothbrush and grab a new one to replace it. This will reduce the risk of reexposure, and help you feel confident about your clean smile each time you brush.
Take Care of Yourself and Others by Staying at Home
Over the past few years, we have had a lot of experience with staying at home, unfortunately. The truth is that staying at home and minimizing the opportunities to expose others to illness is still one of the best things we can do when we are sick. The same goes for our office. We are always working to take the best possible care of our patients, and that includes keeping them and our staff safe from illness as much as we can.
If you feel yourself coming down with something, give our office a call to reschedule any standing appointments as needed. If you find yourself in need of support, either for a problem with your orthodontic device or you need help learning how to care for your orthodontics while sick, give us a call then too. Dr. Scaffidi, as well as our team of professionals, are eager to offer advice and support as needed.
Scaffidi Orthodontics is Here to Help
Whether you are currently under the weather or preparing yourself for flu season, we hope you let us help take good care of you and your teeth! You never know what might happen with your health, so it’s always best to have an orthodontist you trust so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Give Scaffidi Orthodontics a call if you live in Kenner, New Orleans, or Slidell and we look forward to getting to know you and your family!