We are approaching that time of the year when coughs, colds and flu symptoms start to spread and we look for over the counter medication to try and help relieve some of the symptoms. However, are they actually good for our teeth? Many of us don't give it a second thought when picking up a sachet of Lemsip or a bottle of cough medicine or sweets to help soothe or get rid of that killer burning sore throat or annoying cough. Did you know that these medicines can result in tooth decay, as they contain ingredients such as High Fructose Corn Syrup, citric acid and alcohol that can cause tooth decay? Here are some tips on how you can avoid tooth decay caused by over the counter medicines: If you feel the need to take a medicine or are prescribed one, make sure you take it just before meal times(some medicines need to be taken with food anyway). This effects the production of additional saliva to rinse away those harmful sugars and acids. Brush your teeth after your meal and every spoonful of medicine. This will remove any excess sugars in your mouth as well as neutralise the acidic environment these medicines can create. You mouth will feel cleaner and your breath will also smell a lot fresher.
Gargling is good for those of you suffering from sore throats as this will help stop your mouth from drying out and neutralise any acids left from using sweet sugary lozenges and medicines.
If you have to use throat sweets, choose sugar free lozenges instead of the sugar loaded ones and rinse your mouth or drink water afterwards to get rid of the sugar that sits inside your mouth.
When we are feeling unwell, many of us drink Lucozade because we believe its good for replacing loss of fluids. However, the best and healthiest option is to drink plenty of water or try drinking hot water with a slice of fresh lemon instead of Lemsip. Water helps wash away sugar and will help you recover more quickly.
Choose Pill Form
If there is a pill substitute available for colds, coughs and flu take these instead of syrup.