Fighting A Cold? Avoid These Mistakes That Could Harm Your Teeth

When you're fighting a cold, you probably focus on using treatments that ease your symptoms and hopefully help you get over your illness sooner. While getting well is certainly important, many people make mistakes when treating a cold that negatively impacts their dental health. To ensure you get well without harming your teeth and gums, avoid these mistakes the next time you have a cold.

Sucking on cough drops while drifting off to sleep.

A cough drop might soothe your throat as you prepare for slumber, but most are high in sugar. When you suck on a cough drop, it's really no different from sucking on candy – from a dental perspective. Thus, you really should brush your teeth after sucking on a cough drop, so the sugar does not sit on your teeth all night and contribute to cavity formation. So, enjoy your last cough drop, brush your teeth, and then go to sleep.

Sipping on sports drinks all day.

Staying hydrated is often said to help you fight off a cold sooner. If you're sipping sports drinks all day in an attempt to hydrate your body, however, you're not doing your teeth any favors.  Just like soda can damage the teeth by constantly bathing them in sugar, so can sports drinks. For hydration and good dental health, sip water or tea (without sugar) instead.

Not brushing your teeth after taking cough syrup.

Manufacturers add sugar to cough syrups in an effort to make them taste a little less gross. The thick texture of these syrups means they stick to your teeth for a while after you take them, feeding oral bacteria and contributing to gum disease. Brush your teeth after taking cough syrup, and your mouth will thank you.

Drinking lots of lemon juice and vinegar as home remedies.

Both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are acidic and can weaken your tooth enamel, leaving you more prone to cavities and tooth decay. If you use these ingredients as home remedies, make sure you sip them through a straw so they don't come into direct contact with your teeth. Also, practice moderation when treating a cold with these remedies – a little vinegar or lemon juice now and then isn't such a big deal, but sipping vinegar every morning to ward off a cold is not a great choice for your teeth.

When fighting a cold, it's important to take the health of your whole body into account, including your teeth. Avoid the mistakes above, and you'll ensure you don't trade your cold for a few cavities.

Talk to experts like Bruggeman Dental for more information.