Every year millions of Americans get knocked down by the flu and suffer the miserable sniffles, annoying coughs, and unbearable body aches. Flu season usually runs from about October through February, but this year, your dentist in St. Louis is here to provide you with some things you can do to help prevent the flu from affecting you and your family.
Even though you should be doing this regularly anyway, washing your hands multiple times a day becomes even more important throughout the flu season. Your St. Louis dentist recommends lathering up with warm, soapy water after using the restroom, eating meals or snacks, or touching people or public spaces. It can work wonders in keeping germs off of your hands and out of your body. If soap and water aren’t readily available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Even if you wash your hands religiously, there’s no way you can keep them germ-free every second of the day. Germs are easily transferred from your hands to your face, and sometimes that’s all it takes to get sick. In fact, the CDC states that one of the most common ways germs are spread is by touching a contaminated surface, then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. These body parts have mucus that can easily transport germs into the body and make you sick.
Germs can live on surfaces for longer than we may think. They can then be easily transferred to your hands and body. To help reduce this risk, make sure you’re cleaning your home and work area often. Pay attention to things that are touched a lot, such as doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, keyboards, and even remote controls.
Water is an important part of what helps our bodies function optimally, and a well-hydrated body can better fight off germs to keep you healthy. At a minimum, drink the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Your toothbrush can be home to a lot of germs and bacteria. But properly caring for it can remove these germs and keep your teeth and body healthy. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every use and store it upright with the bristles at the top. Allow your toothbrush to air dry and avoid capping the bristles. When a toothbrush is covered while wet, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish. Don’t allow family members’ toothbrushes to touch and never share toothbrushes.
While there’s no guaranteed way to fully avoid getting the flu, these tips can help reduce the risk. However, if you do happen to get sick, our St. Louis dental office encourages you to use sugar-free medicines to help alleviate your symptoms and protect your teeth. Lastly, if you do get sick, make sure to replace your toothbrush once your symptoms settle.