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Ways to Care for Your Mouth During the Cold and Flu Season

Ways to Care for Your Mouth During the Cold and Flu Season

During this hectic season, taking care of your body is your top priority, especially if you are sick. An average adult gets about 2-3 colds per year, lasting between 7-10 days. During the flu season, around eight percent of the U.S. population catches the flu.

Get through the cold and flu season while still managing to protect your smile with these tips to help ease your symptoms and prevent mouth complications.

Go for sugar-free cold medications and cough drops

Cough drops work by helping relieve troublesome coughs and dry mouth that causes cavities. Be sure to check the label before you buy in order to avoid liquid cold medications and cough drops that contain corn syrup or fructose. These are cavity-causing sugars, most especially when left in the mouth for an extended period of time. Instead, go for sugar-free medications and lozenges in tablet form. If you give kids 4 years and older cold medication in liquid form that contain sugar, have them brush their teeth afterwards, especially before a nap or during bedtime. 

Maintain your oral care routine

When you are sick, it’s natural to have an aversion to doing much, but do not let exhaustion and misery keep you from sticking to your oral health routine. Do not forget to floss daily and brush twice a day.


Yes, you should drink plenty of fluids when you have the cold and flu, but make sure that you choose the right kinds of fluids.

  • Water remains to be the best choice. Not only does it keep you well-hydrated, but it also washes away the acids in your mouth that causes cavities.
  • Low-sugar juices can be consumed in moderation. Just be sure to follow up with water to wash away the sugars from your teeth.
  • Sports drinks can give you an energy boost, just choose the sugar-free variety.

Combat the side effects of colds and flu

Vomiting is one undesirable effect of the flu. Vomiting can cause you to become dehydrated, plus, the stomach acids that come into contact with your teeth will coat them and cause decay. Resist the temptation of brushing your teeth right after you throw up. Instead, swish with water or a diluted mouth rinse to help wash the acid away.

When sick, many people tend to focus on getting better instead of keeping their teeth safe. However, practicing good oral health habits is very important during the cold and flu season. These tips on caring for your mouth this season will help you keep your mouth in good shape as you work on regaining your health. Questions? Feel free to contact your Dallas dentist.


“Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
“Key Facts About Influenza (Flu),” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm
“How Hydration Can Help You Recover From a Virus,” Abbott, https://www.nutritionnews.abbott/nutrition-care/illness/how-hydration-can-help-you-recover-from-a-virus/
“How to prevent dehydration when you’re sick,” Edward-Emhurst Health, https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2020/10/how-to-avoid-dehydration-when-sick/