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Cold and flu season is upon us. You may take all of the necessary precautions and get your flu shot, but you may still pick up a virus or a cold. It’s understandable that when you get sick, you will probably want to stay in bed or on the couch with a good book or your favorite show. But while you are feeling miserable and binge-watching your program, you can’t neglect your oral health.

You will still need to brush twice a day and floss once a day. If you have the flu, you may have issues with your stomach. If you find yourself vomiting, you will need to rinse your mouth to keep the acids from your stomach from doing damage to your teeth. If that is the case for you, you need to rinse with a mixture of water and a teaspoon of baking soda. After a 30-minute wait, you should brush your teeth.

Your doctor will tell you to keep hydrated while you are sick. The best solution for that is water. This will prevent dry mouth, which is a risk while you are sick. Dry mouth can heighten your chances of tooth decay and gum disease. Orange juice and sports drinks may help, but you should have them in moderation. If you find comfort in a hot mug of tea, don’t add sugar or lemon to it.

Cough drops will make you feel better, but many brands contain sugar. Since they will be in your mouth for a long time, you will increase your chances of getting cavities. When it comes to cough drops, look for the sugar-free variety.

Our dentist, Dr. Jose-Luis Ruiz has more helpful tips for oral health care, and not just for when you are sick. If you would like to know more, or if it is time for your regular appointment, you can call Dr. Jose-Luis Ruiz in Studio City, California, by calling 818-641-5577.