You’ve heard the news: The flu season has been pretty bad this year, bordering on a flu epidemic. As practicing dentists in Brooklyn for over 30 years, we’ve seen flu seasons come and go, and we’ve always advocated to our patients how what they’re doing (or not doing) to maintain their oral health can have a huge impact on whether or not they catch the flu. Most of us are aware that there is a proven connection between oral health and your overall health, but here’s a few tips that we share with our very own patients, and that you can start using right away!
- Is Your Toothbrush Making You Sick: When was the last time you changed toothbrushes? If you were sick this season or anyone in your house was sick we would recommend changing your toothbrush right away. The cold and flu virus can live on your brush for a couple hours or even a few days. And could potentially make you sick all over again!
- Wash Your Hands Before and After Brushing and Flossing: With the flu, you’ll want to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth in order to stop the spread of germs. It’s also essential that while you’re cleaning your mouth you wash your hands before and wash them immediately afterwards. This can help stop oral inflammatory disease, which is caused by these types of germs.
- Sterilize Your Toothbrush once a Week: Even if no one in your house has been sick, it’s a good habit to sterilize your toothbrush once a week. Place your toothbrush in a microwave safe cup for 2-3 minutes, in a few inches of water and bring the water to a boil. If you use an electric toothbrush, remove the brush head and place that in a microwave safe cup.
Remember, prevention is key when it comes to both avoiding the flu and your oral health. Be sure to get yourself a flu shot and schedule your cleaning with Modern Dentistry today! Thanks for reading and stay healthy this flu season.