How to Protect Your Teeth If You Take Allergy Medication
If you suffer from allergies such as rhinitis or hay fever, you probably take antihistamines. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of antihistamines is dry mouth. Dry mouth is one of the contributing factors to tooth decay. So you need to ensure that take action to combat this side effect to ensure you are not at higher risk of tooth decay when taking your medication.
Take the following actions to prevent dry mouth as you combat allergies.
Chew gum to stimulate saliva production
Chewing food stimulates saliva production to assist with digestion, which begins in the mouth. To keep your saliva flowing when your mouth feels dry, chew some gum. Your salivary glands will then produce saliva, which neutralizes acids and kills oral bacteria.
Chew stringy or crunchy vegetables to clean your teeth
Since harmful strains of oral bacteria thrive in dry mouths and live on teeth, you need a simple way to keep your teeth clean throughout the day. Brushing your teeth may not always be an option. But you can turn to crunchy or stringy vegetables like:
These vegetables are rough, so can act as natural toothbrushes to brush the plaque off your teeth as you eat. As an added bonus, the crunchier a vegetable is, the more you need to chew, which also stimulates saliva production.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
You need to drink water throughout the day to keep your whole body hydrated. A dehydrated body produces less saliva. Coupled with antihistamine medication, dehydration can be harmful to your teeth. Try to drink water throughout the day even if you don't take antihistamine medication.
Substitute liquid medication for pills
Liquid medications for allergies contain sugar, which is the favourite food of decay-causing oral bacteria. Liquid medication may also stick to your teeth and leave a coating that oral bacteria can feed on. If possible, try to stick to tablet form medication because this form of allergy medication doesn't contain sugar.
Rinse your mouth after taking liquid medication
Some people struggle to take tablet form medication. If you are unable to switch from liquid allergy medication to tablet allergy medication, then you need to wash the liquid medication out of your mouth after taking it. After you take a dose of allergy medication in liquid form, swish your mouth out with water to deprive oral bacteria of their favourite food—sugar.
For more information about general dentistry, contact a local dentist.