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Winter is here, and unfortunately, this means cold and flu season is right on its heels. Here are some tooth care tips for when you’re feeling under the weather.

The flu virus can live on your toothbrush for up to 72 hours. While it is unlikely that you will reinfect yourself (unless you have a very poor immune system), your brush may cross-contaminate other toothbrushes and make other people sick. You may decide to replace your toothbrush (or electric toothbrush head) after being sick.

During your illness, if they are necessary, choose sugar-free cough drops. Sugared cough drops have the same effect on your teeth as a piece of candy. The longer it is in your mouth, the longer your mouth bacteria can feed on the sugars and multiply, producing acids that eat away at your tooth enamel.

Similarly, try to choose the right liquids. Plain water is best for your teeth. If you choose to drink acidic or sugary drinks, such as sports drinks, be sure to accompany them with a tall glass of plain water.

Make sure that you are brushing twice a day for two minutes. Never share your toothbrush–particularly if you are sick. Make sure you continue to floss every day.

For more information, call Bellefontaine Family Dental in St. Louis, Missouri, at 314-741-5133. Dr. Sam Cigno and our team are happy to help keep you well this season!

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