Managing Oral Health During Influenza: Expert Guidance From Dr. Gene Romo | DentalReach – Leading Dental Magazine
In addressing the intersection of influenza and oral health, Dr. Gene Romo emphasizes the importance of maintaining oral hygiene, particularly during periods of illness. With heightened vulnerability during the winter months, individuals are advised to prioritize oral care amidst the increased likelihood of fever and colds.
Dr. Romo advocates for five key practices to uphold optimal oral hygiene even while sick:
Stringent Oral Hygiene Practices: Given the influenza virus’s ability to endure on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours, it is imperative to refrain from sharing toothbrushes, especially during illness. Dr. Romo underscores the necessity of replacing toothbrushes, particularly those older than a few months, post-illness, while reiterating the standard recommendation of renewal every 3-4 months.
Select Sugar-Free Remedies: When selecting cough syrups or lozenges, individuals are advised to opt for sugar-free alternatives to mitigate the risk of tooth decay associated with prolonged exposure to sugary substances.
Post-Vomiting Oral Care: In instances of vomiting, stomach acids can compromise dental enamel. Dr. Romo advises against immediate tooth brushing, as it may exacerbate acid erosion. Instead, rinsing with water or mouthwash is recommended to neutralize acidity.
Hydration to Combat Dry Mouth: Adequate fluid intake is encouraged during illness to prevent dry mouth, exacerbated by certain cold and flu medications. Individuals are advised to consume water or sugar-free lozenges to alleviate dry mouth symptoms.
Mindful Beverage Choices: Water remains the preferred beverage choice to safeguard oral health. During illness, caution is warranted when consuming sugary or acidic beverages, including those intended for hydration or warmth. Dr. Romo advocates for minimal sugar or lemon usage in beverages post-illness, emphasizing the enduring relevance of these guidelines beyond the flu period.
By adhering to these recommendations, individuals can safeguard their oral health amid seasonal illnesses, as endorsed by Dr. Romo and the American Dental Association (ADA).