The last thing any of us want to deal with in the middle of winter is cold and flu season. Getting knocked down with a virus throws a wrench in any plans. Being sick slows down our momentum and goals and makes it difficult to uphold our New Year’s resolutions. As the dentist Ballwin residents go to for their preventative dentistry and oral health needs, we thought this would be a great time to talk about how to prevent spreading germs while protecting your health and others.
Common facts about the flu
The flu virus is contagious and spreads through coughs, saliva, and sneezes.
Flu symptoms take a few days to appear once a person has contracted the flu virus.
Various types of flu strains exist.
The flu is most prevalent during the colder months of the year. Typically, the season runs from October to March, but it isn’t uncommon to get the flu in the summer months, too.
The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for nearly 2 days. It can survive on clothing for 12 hours.
When caring for yourself or a loved one who has the flu,
wash your hands often. It is also important
to keep surfaces and areas that are shared with others clean. Wipe down door handles and remote
controls. Keep phones, computers, and
tablets clean with microfiber towels and only use with clean hands. Be mindful when doing laundry to wash your
hands after handling clothes carrying the virus.
We are susceptible to germs through our mouths, noses, and eyes. As our Ballwin dentist recommends, we brush and floss our teeth daily. This healthy habit shouldn’t change; especially when we are sick. Bacteria loves to grow in our mouths; brushing and flossing keeps bacteria from infecting us. A clean mouth can help give our oral health needs the protection necessary to fight off a virus.
Germs and your toothbrush
There are varying opinions on whether or not you should
replace your toothbrush after you have been sick with a cold or flu. On one hand, you are unlikely to become
infected again with the same virus as your immune system will have figured out
a way to fight off the illness. However,
our Ballwin dentist does recommend replacing your toothbrush 3-4 times each
year. A good reason to change out your
toothbrush is to prevent others from coming into contact with your germs. If you store your toothbrush next to someone
else’s, your germs can end up in their mouth and vice versa. Store brushes away from each other; and wash
your hands before brushing and flossing.
Staying healthy during the flu season calls for a lot of hand washing and smart choices. Be mindful of your oral health needs and make sure to eat a well-balanced diet with the vitamins and minerals your bones, teeth, and body need to remain in good health. Learn more about our how you can protect your health and your smile on our Facebook page and call us if you have any questions.