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Safeguard That Smile This Cold and Flu Season

Football season. Back-to-school season. The holiday season. They’re all hallmarks of fall, but so is one other less-popular season: cold and flu season. This year, fight the urge to hide out under the blankets and stay indoors until spring. Try these tips for making this cold and flu season the healthiest ever.

Get Your Flu Shot

Every year we hear a lot of misinformation floating around social media about flu shots. No, flu shots don’t always work – they are essentially an educated guess about which flu strain will be the strongest, and sometimes that guess is wrong. Sometimes that guess is right, but you still get another strain of the flu!

No, flu shots are not an antibiotic or medicine, and, no, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.

If your immune system is healthy and you are not allergic to eggs (flu shots are cultured in eggshells), speak to your doctor about getting the flu shot this year.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Washing your hands and keeping dirty hands away from your face, mouth, and food can help prevent colds and the flu this season, but they’re not a surefire guarantee, either, because flu germs are transmitted by air. In fact, someone with the flu doesn’t even need to cough, sneeze or touch you – they can give you the flu just by breathing near you. So while washing your hands is still extremely important, it’s probably not enough to prevent the flu entirely.

Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is the best way to kill germs in your mouth, including the flu virus. Keeping your mouth clean is also not enough to prevent the flu, but it can act as a line of defense against it. Furthermore, cold and flu season is a great time to remind you that you should never share toothbrushes, cups or utensils. Not only is this a great way to pass along cold and flu germs, but it’s also a great way to pass along oral bacteria that cause gingivitis and cavities.

Treat Medicine Like Food

Cough medicines, lozenges, and tea with honey may all soothe our throats, but they also stick to our teeth and cause cavities. Use medicines as directed, but also remember to drink lots of water with them and to brush your teeth, even if you feel too tired and achy to get out of bed.

We hope you have a healthy cold and flu season. If you have any oral health concerns, or if you want to schedule an exam, please call Dr. Hill’s office at 469-640-9550.

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