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Cold and flu season is in full swing. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of taking care of your teeth when you’re under the weather. However, with these tips, your smile can stay strong throughout your illness.

The first tip is obvious but important: make sure you keep brushing and flossing, even while you are sick. It is more important than ever to keep germs and infection away from teeth. The addition of certain medications to your routine can also increase your risk for gum disease or enamel erosion. Never, ever share your toothbrush, especially if you are sick.

Second, something to consider: 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 brush is around other brushes, they could touch and become contaminated. Some people choose to throw away their toothbrush or electric toothbrush head after being sick. This may be a good option for your situation, as well.

Remember to choose sugar-free cough drops. If you buy sugar-sweetened cough drops, the effect on your teeth will be the same as a piece of candy. The sugars in the cough drop will feed the bacteria in your mouth, increasing risk of cavities.

For more information, call Studio 1 Dental in Sacramento, California, at 916.567.0900. Dr. David J. Berg and our team are happy to help!