Sullivan Dental Center

Caring for your Smile During Cold and Flu Season

dental services St. Francisville, LAWe’re not quite out of the woods when it comes to the risk for catching a cold. It is during this season of potential sniffles that we are encouraged to wash our hands frequently. Some people do what they can to minimize the spread of microorganisms from hands to face by applying hand sanitizer throughout the day. Because it has been proven that hand-to-face contact is a primary way to spread germs, these are great practices. But more could be done.

Some studies indicate that it is possible to kick that nasty cold only to have it return shortly thereafter. What might cause this? An infected toothbrush. In fact, studies also suggest that it isn’t very difficult at all for toothbrushes to pick up germs that could then create problems in the body.

  • Data has shown an ability for most toothbrushes made today to hold viruses and bacteria.
  • Microorganisms have been found along the entire length of a toothbrush handle, and accumulated on the head of the brush, where bristles are then supposed to clean bacteria from the mouth.
  • Researchers have discovered a higher number of bacteria on toothbrushes with more bristles.
  • Toothbrushes with transparent, clear heads harbored fewer microorganisms.

Managing Bacteria on the Toothbrush

The very idea that the toothbrush you use every day could have unhealthy viruses and bacteria living on it is unpleasant. Based on research, we can offer a few tips on how to minimize the accumulation of microorganisms on this important oral care instrument:

  • Choose a toothbrush that has a transparent head, or is completely transparent. It is believed that the more light that can get through the head, the less microorganisms can live there.
  • Minimize your toothbrush selection to products with a small head. This means fewer bristles and less space for bacteria to collect.
  • Replace often. We are advised to replace our toothbrushes every three months or so. This could actually be done more often. Some say that we could switch to a brand-new toothbrush every month. And after a cold or illness? Ditch the toothbrush for a new one.

The oral care habits that you keep on a daily basis are most effective when the toothbrush you use is in good condition. We are here to support you with preventive cleanings and exams. For more information or to schedule your visit, call 225-635-4422.

Posted in: Dental Care

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