The colder weather means cozy nights by the fire, football season, and the holidays are here! However, it also means cold and flu season has arrived. If your little one gets sick, then easing their discomfort and allowing them to recover is priority number one. Unfortunately, between the coughing and sneezing, many parents unintentionally leave their child’s teeth and gums exposed to a number of hazards during the process. To keep your favorite smile in good condition well into the new year, use the below best practices from a pediatric dentist.
Between cough drops that coat their throat and fizzy drinks that soothe their tummy, many sick-day staples wreak havoc on your child’s teeth and gums. So, while it may be tempting to ease up on their oral hygiene regimen, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t. If you prefer for them to stay in their room, you can bring them a cup to spit in and a glass of water to rinse with. That way, they can rest while still fighting off decay and cavities.
Your child’s mouth is home to a variety of germs, especially when they are sick. Fortunately, you can kill the bad bacteria and prevent infection with a simple, at-home solution of dissolving salt in warm water. If they can, have them gargle with the mixture once a day to promote healing.
One of the not-so-pleasant consequences of getting the flu is vomiting. While your initial reaction may be to have your child immediately reach for their toothbrush to protect their teeth, doing so may have the opposite effect. Instead, have them rinse thoroughly with clean water and 1 tsp. of baking soda to rinse away the acid from their stomach. Wait about 30 minutes before having them complete their brushing routine.
Between sneezing, sweating, and running a fever, a cold or flu leaves your little one vulnerable to dehydration. Plus, a stuffed-up nose that causes them to breathe through their mouth more often can lead to dry mouth. So, drinking plenty of water is essential! Do your best to keep a full glass by their bed at all times and limit other beverages, like sports drinks or juices.
A damp toothbrush is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and it can hold their sick germs long after your child has recovered. And while they may not get sick again, other members of your household certainly can! Therefore, make sure to replace their toothbrush ASAP.
Amid the height of cold and flu season, it’s more important than ever to keep your child’s general and oral health in tip-top shape. Fortunately, you can use the above best practices to keep their teeth and gums in good condition well into the new year!
For nearly two full decades, Dr. Racha W. Kadamani has used her extensive experience and clinical expertise to help patients of all ages achieve pristine oral health. She completed her studies at Loma Linda University, and she is now an active member of multiple reputable organizations, including the American Dental Association. If your child is overdue for their biannual appointment or you are looking for a children’s dentist, visit her website.
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