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Cold and flu season is affecting many people right now. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of taking care of your teeth when you’re feeling sick. However, with a little care, your smile can stay strong throughout your illness.

The first tip may seem obvious to many, but it is important: make sure you keep brushing and flossing your teeth, even while you are ill. It is important to keep germs and infection away from teeth. The addition of certain medications to your routine can also increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Never share your toothbrush–especially if you are feeling sick.

The flu virus can live on surfaces, such as toothbrushes, for up to 72 hours. If your immune system is healthy, you probably won’t reinfect yourself. However, if your toothbrush is around other brushes, they could become cross-contaminated. Some people throw their toothbrush or electric toothbrush head away after being sick. This may be a good option for you, as well.

If they are needed, remember to choose sugar-free cough drops. If you buy sugar-sweetened cough drops, the effect on your teeth will be essentially the same as a piece of candy. The sugars will feed the bacteria in your mouth, increasing your risk of cavities and decay.

For more information, call Cross Pointe Dental in Evansville, Indiana, at 812-476-6064. Dr. Bradley Bath and our team are happy to help!