Even a relatively mild Kansas City winter has…
The seasons are changing, the weather is changing, and with all the great things that come with autumn in Kansas City, we also all know that it signals the start of flu season. What does that mean for your oral health? We’ve prepared a quick list of everything you need to know, straight from your trusted Kansas City family dentist.
Oral Symptoms of the Flu. When it comes to the flu and your oral health, the first concerns relate to the symptoms of the flu itself. After all, many flu symptoms directly affect our mouth and our dental health. The flu can cause sore throat, inflamed gums, dry mouth, or even an increased risk of oral sores. Fortunately, your Kansas City family dentist can advise ways to help treat the worst of these symptoms. If you think you have the flu, you might want to give us a call and ask any questions you may have.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene When You’re Sick. Many of us may be tempted to restrict our usual oral care routine when we’re sick, either due to discomfort or out of a fear of spreading germs. However, it’s actually even more important to stick to your usual routine when you’re under the weather, as your mouth and gums will need extra care. When it comes to germs, though, you’ll probably want to consider changing your toothbrush or brush head once you’re on the road to recovery. This helps to safeguard against re-infection and will ensure that you’re not just reintroducing old germs. It’s always a good idea to change your toothbrush every few months, anyway.
Staying Hydrated. Proper hydration is one of the best things you can do for your overall health anytime, but it’s especially important during flu season. If you do get sick, staying hydrated will help your body recover more quickly, and it can help reduce the severity of your symptoms. As a bonus, proper hydration is a great thing for your oral health, too!
The Role of Mouthwash and Salt Gargling. As we mentioned, the flu brings with it a number of oral symptoms, including dry mouth and sore throat. Amidst the onslaught of these symptoms, simple remedies such as mouthwash and salt gargling can be invaluable allies. They serve multiple purposes: killing harmful bacteria, reducing the buildup of plaque, and offering relief from a sore throat. Best of all, they’re safe and easy to do at home!
Eating a Balanced Diet. The importance of good nutrition for your oral health—and your overall health—is a topic that we’ve discussed before, but it bears repeating, especially around flu season. If we get sick, eating healthy, nutritious foods can help us bounce back more quickly. Though your sore throat or other symptoms may make the concept of eating unpleasant, try to be sure that you get enough protein, including lean meats such as fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These will help to ensure that your body has the energy and the nutrients that it needs to fight infection.
Like it or not, flu season is coming, and being prepared for it is about more than just stocking up on tissues and soap. Understanding how the flu can impact your oral health and arming yourself with strategies to help take care of yourself when you’re under the weather can make the season much more manageable.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Your Kansas City family dentist is always just a call away, ready to address any concerns or questions you might have. Whatever you need this flu season, just call (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment with Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City, MO.