As we are entering the peak of flu season, nearly 111 million Americans will fall ill, according to data given by the CDC. Between December and March, we will emphasize hand washing and cough covering, but equal importance should be given to your dental health. Bacteria can flourish in a mouth neglected of regular teeth cleaning, weakening your immune system, and compromising your health to the seasonal flu. People who suffer from gum disease may be more likely to catch it, as well. Bacteria can also grow on your toothbrush. Replacing your toothbrush and boiling it in water for a few minutes are two things you can do to avoid reintroducing pathogens into your mouth. The American Dental Association advises replacing used toothbrushes every 3-4 months.
There is an overwhelming consensus among dentists and world health professionals that poor oral cleanliness can increase your chances of becoming sick. Regular teeth cleaning and a dental checkup are often the most underappreciated methods of protecting you and your family against the flu. Lax dental habits can lead to a weakened immune system or even an infection. Gum disease (periodontitis) is a serious condition that only your dentist can diagnose and treat. If left untreated, this infection can create more serious even fatal symptoms. This is why it is so important to have a regular dental checkup, so you and your dentist can begin treating any infection at it’s earliest stages. Fight the flu with good oral hygiene!