Your Guide To Orthodontics When You’re Sick

No one likes getting sick. We’re sure that we all put in a conscious effort to do everything we can to avoid getting sick, like washing our hands and cleaning frequently touched surfaces. But, unfortunately, despite these efforts, there is still a possibility of you getting sick!

Whether it’s your first or fourth time being sick as an orthodontic patient, navigating getting better without derailing your orthodontic process or oral health can be challenging. Our team at Christian Manley Orthodontics wants you to be successful no matter the obstacles that come your way! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help ease the discomfort and get you feeling your best as soon as possible!

Don’t Stop Your Oral Hygiene Routine!

When you’re sick, the last thing on your mind might be performing your oral hygiene routine, but you shouldn’t skip this part of your day! You’ve still got to care for your teeth and gums while you’re sick by brushing and flossing twice a day. Keeping up with your routine helps remove any bacteria that can give you infections or prolong your illness!

Speaking of brushing, we have another tip for you! If your illness is causing you to throw up, don’t brush your teeth immediately after. After you throw up, a film of stomach acid lines inside your mouth. Brushing too soon could cause you to scrub the strong acid into the teeth, potentially damaging them! Instead, you’ll want to rinse the mouth with water, an antiseptic mouthwash, or a baking soda and water mix. You can brush your teeth thirty minutes after throwing up.

Bonus: You want to continue to wear your removable clear aligners or retainer when you’re sick, but you should remove them if you are throwing up. Don’t put them back on until you have brushed your teeth thirty minutes later to avoid transferring germs or acid onto them.

Manage Your Pain!

Depending on the illness, you might suffer from body aches and pains. Swelling and pain in the mouth can make wearing your Invisalign trays uncomfortable and your braces unbearable. 

Gargle some salt water if you are feeling pain, swelling, or irritation in your mouth. It might not taste great, but it soothes the mouth by reducing swelling and clears any bacteria that can keep you sick or cause infections. 

If you are a braces patient, you should ask Dr. Manley about orthodontic wax! When you’re sick, you might have an increased risk of cold sores or swelling, causing your braces to rub against your cheek, leading to sores and open wounds. Orthodontic wax is a removable substance that creates a barrier between the braces and your skin to protect you from irritation. 

Stay Hydrated And Fed!

Getting enough nutrients and drinking enough water is not easy when you’re sick. Consuming food and drink might not sound appetizing, and it can be hard to keep it down. However, staying hydrated and well-fed is essential to feeling better!

Water helps you avoid dehydration and protects you against dry mouth, an uncomfortable condition caused by a lack of moisture in the mouth. Because some sicknesses can cause you to lose fluid, these conditions are even more likely when you feel unwell. If you are unable to avoid getting dry mouth and find eating difficult, try eating soft foods like bananas, apple sauce, and soup with nutritional value.

Eating helps to give your body the energy and tools it needs to feel better quickly. Certain foods can help calm an upset stomach, clear the breathing passages, fight inflammation, and combat other symptoms. If you are unsure what foods to eat, ask your doctor.

Reach For The Sugar-Free Cough Drops!

If you have a sore throat or a cough, the first thing you are likely to do is to reach for a bag of cough drops. Not only do they come in delicious flavors, but they also get the job done! We encourage you to get this medication if you need it, though we must also encourage you to read the content labeling so you can protect your teeth while sick.

We hate to burst a cough-drop bubble, but cough drops have as much sugar as candy! Sugar can cause tooth decay that can lead to cavities, and if you’re not continuing your oral hygiene routine while under the weather, you’re even more vulnerable to the dangers of sugar! When you pick up cough drops from the store, choose the sugar-free ones instead!

Bonus: If you have a bonded orthodontic appliance, like clear or metal braces, a palate expander, or a retainer, you might want to get a different kind of sugar-free cough medication. The hardness of the cough drop could damage your appliances if you are not careful, which can lead to pain and an emergency visit to Christian Manley Orthodontics. The last thing you want when you’re sick is an orthodontic emergency, so be cautious!

Quarantine & Replace Your Oral Hygiene Tools!

If you share a bathroom, you should separate your oral hygiene tools from other people’s once you begin to notice that you are sick. You don’t want to spread your illness to others accidentally!

After you feel better, replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head, your interproximal brush (if applicable), and the head of your water flosser. Germs and bacteria are still lingering on those devices, and continued use could lead to you getting sick all over again! Replacing the tools is easy, and you’ll feel much better and get a better clean with new equipment!

Your Guide To Orthodontics When You're Sick

Have More Questions? Christian Manley Orthodontics Has The Answers!

Being sick can be a pain, and being a sick orthodontic patient can be frustrating. Luckily, Christian Manley Orthodontics is here to guide you so you can feel better in time without compromising your oral health or orthodontic deadline.

If you have questions and want personalized advice, contact us to speak to a helpful team member. If you are a new patient and would like to learn more about us and find out which treatment option you qualify for, call us or click here to schedule your free consultation!

Christian Manley Orthodontics is passionate about changing lives through smiles and prioritizes your experience being comfortable, safe, and effective. We hope to see you soon!