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Sick Child

Taking Care of Teeth Through Sickness

The winter is also known as Cold and Flu season for a reason. The average adult will get 2-4 colds per year, while the average child will get 6-8, most of these occurring during the winter.  Children are more prone to disease, as they are constantly touching things, people, and putting foreign objects in their mouths.  So chances are, your child has a cold, or has had a cold or the flu at least once this winter season.  While you probably are making sure that your child gets their medicine and ample sleep, you may have started to neglect their oral hygiene.  Don’t fall victim to poor dental care while your child is sick.  You need to keep up on brushing and flossing even when they are sick, not only to help them have clean teeth, but to help them get better.  The mouth is full of bacteria, so minimizing that bacteria through proper oral care will help your child heal faster.  Use the tips below to help your kids’ teeth stay healthy while their body recovers.  

Brush Their Teeth

While it may seem impossible to brush your child’s teeth while they are sick with the norovirus or a cold, you need to make sure that you do it.  You don’t need to drag your child to the bathroom, you can bring them a cup to spit in and a cup of water to rinse.  That way, you can brush their teeth without leaving their bedroom.  Make sure you brushing your child’s teeth twice a day, even while they are sick.  

Gargle With Salt Water

If your child is old enough to understand gargling, have them gargle with salt water.  This will help kill germs in the throat and mouth, and will help your child heal faster.  This is especially helpful if your child has a sore throat associated with their illness.  Gargle once a day.  

Change Their Toothbrush

Bacteria can remain on your child’s toothbrush, even after they have gotten better.  While your child may have developed an immunity to their disease, your other family members have not.  Throw out their old toothbrush and get a new one.  If your child is particular, or you can’t run to the store yet, boil their toothbrush in hot water to kill some of the germs.  Also, make sure that you isolate your child’s toothbrush from your other toothbrushes while they are sick to prevent the disease from spreading.  

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Make sure that your child is staying hydrated during their sickness.  If your child has a stuffy nose, they are probably breathing more through their mouth, causing dry mouth.  If your child’s mouth is dry, they don’t generate enough saliva to wash away bacteria.  Drinking water will not only help them get better, but it will help their mouth generate saliva that is necessary to wash away bacteria in the mouth.

 

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