This time of year does no favors to your immune system. Between the unhealthy eating of the holidays, the cold weather, and the extended time indoors with others, there’s a reason the winter months are known as “cold and flu” season. There are precautions you can take to avoid germs. Eating healthy, getting plenty of high-quality sleep, and washing your hands frequently throughout the day are good practices. Still, illness happens to everyone from time-to-time, and Dr. Jessica Lawson, general dentist in Urbandale, IA, would like you to be aware of how many cold and flu remedies can effect your oral health.
The Downfalls of Quelling Cold Symptoms with Medications
There are certainly a great many cold and flu medications available over-the-counter. Unfortunately, these pills and liquids can have oral side effects. Some prescription meds can cause problems as well. For example, frequently prescribed steroid packs decrease your immune system which delays healing if you have oral surgery needs. Anti-histamines may dry up mucus, but they can wreak havoc on your salivary glands. This puts you at a higher risk for cavities. If you do need to take medication to relieve your cold or flu, consider using extra topical fluoride and be sure to keep your mouth moist and hydrated with plenty of water. When in doubt, Dr. Lawson is always happy to guide you on the right path.
Handshakes and Germs
The Centers for Disease Control says 80% of all infections are transmitted by people’s hands. While you may think it’s kissing or being in the vicinity of a cough or sneeze, it’s more likely that you’ve contracted your virus from someone else’s hands, and that you can end up spreading your virus to your family, co-workers, and anyone you interact with out in the world. The productivity levels of companies go down, children’s progress in school can be stunted, forcing them to fall behind, and of course, being sick is just plain miserable. From a dental perspective, constant cancellations throughout cold and flu season make it difficult to keep an office running smoothly.So here’s a novel solution if you want to be able to still connect with colleagues, family, and friends without spreading germs: the fist bump. This closed-hand knuckle-to-knuckle greeting is fast, simple, and far less germ spreading than hand shaking. Remember, though we don’t want everyone to cancel their appointments throughout the winter, we definitely don’t want to spread illnesses at Lawson Family Dentistry. If you have had a fever within the last 24 hours, give us a call. We may recommend that you reschedule your appointment just to be on the safe side.
Visit our Team at Lawson Family Dentistry
Be sure to make your own dental health a priority. Dr. Lawson treats patients of all ages with comprehensive dentistry services. Call us at (515) 278-4366 to schedule an appointment.