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Tips for Dental Health During Flu Season

Photo: woman smiling at her toothpaste

We hope that you and your family are staying healthy and optimistic while navigating the challenges posed by the coronavirus COVID-19. While the below dental health recommendations apply specifically to dealing with influenza, COVID-19 is a whole different enchilada. So we encourage you to check in regularly with the latest CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting coronavirus spread. By staying brushed up on the CDC’s recommended protective measures, we all help each other stay safe!

‘Tis the season of open fires, chestnuts, and roasting said chestnuts over said open fires. A beautiful snowglobe whirlwind sprinkled with warm lights, Bing Crosby ballads and mistletoe. But it’s not just the most wonderful time of the year – it’s the most sneeziest, feverish time of the year too. That’s right, friends and neighbors: flu season is upon us. Peaking in activity between December and February in the US, the flu is something you understandably want to avoid like the plague. Luckily, keeping your oral hygiene game on-point can be an effective way to limit both your exposure to flu germs and your likelihood of passing them on to someone that you love. So whether you’re just trying to avoid the flu, or (*sigh*) are currently sick, here are some tips for dental health during flu season.

Oral Hygiene During Flu Season

Have you gotten a flu shot? If you’re old enough to be able to read this, the CDC thinks you should probably get a flu shot. Look, we don’t love needles either, but hey – it’s for the good of the herd! Ok, we got that PSA out of the way – now let’s talk oral care.

The first thing to remember is that sharing is not caring. If you’re feeling flu-ish, be sure not to let anyone use your toothbrush, toothpaste, or mouthwash – because you’re putting germs on all of them. Ohhh boy are you putting germs on them. And once you’re back to feeling one hundred percent, it’s important to take precautions and sterilize your oral care kit or buy new. When it comes to your toothpaste and mouthwash, the best bet is to toss them, as sterilizing can be tricky to pull off successfully. However, if you’re really on a first-name basis with your toothbrush, you can give it a bath in boiling water for several minutes to kill any germs that may still be lurking in its bristles. Still, we recommend keeping it simple and just throwing your brush away. Depending on the materials it’s made from, a boiling hot bath probably isn’t going to be great for its brushing capabilities. And because brushes should get replaced every 3-4 months, it’s best not to get too precious with them anyways.

While it can be hard to say goodbye to un-finished portions of your favorite brush stuff, it’s in your best interest to do so. As a way to minimize waste, you may want to consider purchasing travel size toothpastes, since their small size means you’re chucking less unused product once you’ve kicked your cold or flu. At hello, we make a wide variety of toothpaste flavors in adorbs, 1 oz. sizes – so flu season can become your chance to catch up on Netflix and catch up on trying some of our newest tastes. Is it possible to wake up with the flu-blues when you’re getting newly acquainted with a cute ‘lil tube of hemp seed oil or activated charcoal paste? While we’re not *quite* miracle workers, we bet your mouth will feel cleaner and fresher – and that might just improve your overall morale. So arm yourself with some teeny tiny tubes and see if our paste can put a smile on your face. Take that, flu season!

Oral Health
Lawrence Fung

about the author

Lawrence Fung is a dentist, entrepreneur, and one of our expert contributors here on the hello blog. After earning his DDS at the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry, Lawrence served as a General Dentist in the US Navy for four years. Since then, he’s mixed his dental credentials with his love for startups by founding SiliconBeach.Dental, a new breed of dental clinic in LA that leverages tech to make high-quality care more accessible and friendlier than ever before. When he’s not challenging the dental status quo, Lawrence reps his beloved Trojans, crushes hotdog-eating contests, and loves yodeling.

Learn more about our editorial policy here.

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