Navigation Links
Tips on Decreasing Susceptibility to the H1N1 Virus - Optimum Oral Hygiene Can Prevent Flu

According to Steven McConnell, DDS, teaching your kids to wash their hands frequently during flu season is a good idea, but brushing their teeth correctly could do more to prevent their actually coming down with a virus.

(PRWEB) November 30, 2009 -- According to the California Dental Hygienists’ Association, it is critical that the public see the link between oral health and flu prevention because the H1N1 virus spreads through respiratory system and mouth. The primary infection control goal is to prevent transmission of disease - that begins with the mouth.

Teaching your kids to wash their hands frequently during flu season is a good idea, but brushing their teeth correctly could do more to prevent their actually coming down with a virus, says Steven McConnell DDS. “One of the biggest misconceptions is the idea that children and teens can’t get gum disease,” he says. “But, in fact, they can, and just as with adults, gum disease can lead to illness in other parts of the body, including flu, pneumonia, chronic colds, sinusitis and ear infections.”

The Marin County, California-based dentist-on-a-mission who has three-year-old twins of his own, McConnell is eager to educate kids and their flu-fearing parents about the immediate health-enhancing effects of good oral hygiene. “Most people don’t realize the impact the bacteria in their mouths can have on systemic health,” he says. “If you have red, puffy, tender or bleeding gums – usually symptoms of gingivitis – they can become a portal of entry for bacteria into the bloodstream, and weaken your immune system. The bacteria that causes cavities can get drawn into the sinuses and lungs and cause respiratory and ear infections.” Also, most complications from this year’s flu virus is in individuals with secondary infections and gum disease is one such infection.

Recently nominated by his peers and selected by the Consumers' Research Council of America as one of “America's Top Dentists,” McConnell insists that good oral hygiene should begin before infants even get their first tooth. “Pathogenic, disease-causing bacteria is present in babies’ mouths. Keeping their mouths clean and healthy helps prevent sickness and disease throughout the body. By the time they have all their permanent teeth, the risk of gum disease is even greater.”

McConnell is big on teaching kids how to care for their own teeth. He uses an intraoral camera – a digital camera on the end of a wand that displays either video or still pictures of their teeth on a monitor -- to show them areas they are cleaning well, areas that need more attention and better techniques. “The kids love it!” he says.

Dr. McConnell shares his tips for teaching your kids flu-preventing oral hygiene techniques that parents can also use for their own benefit:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before practicing oral hygiene.
  • Floss daily.
  • Brush twice a day for two minutes focusing on the gum-line. Brush your tongue – it collects bacteria too.
  • Use good products. Sonicare toothbrushes and WaterPik dental water jets are excellent, the latter of which is especially good for kids with braces.
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up.
  • Air-dry your toothbrush in an upright position after using to allow bacteria to die when exposed to oxygen.
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every season. If you’ve been sick, replace it as soon as your illness is on the mend to prevent reinfection.
  • Never share your toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash or toothbrush holder.

Dr. McConnell’s Tips for Good Oral Hygiene from Day One:
  • On babies, before teeth are present, use single gauze or thin wash cloth to gently displace bacteria-rich film that sticks to gum ridges. As they get teeth, continue to use gauze or wash cloth. Be sure to use dental-friendly pacifiers and bottle nipples. Never put them to bed with a bottle as the pooled milk or juice can lead to severe decay.
  • As baby is comfortable, usually by age one, graduate to a small-head infant-sized brush using water or infant toothpaste. Before they are three, it is safe to use training toothpaste that is not fluoridated.
  • When all the teeth are in by ages two to three, use a toothbrush and child toothpaste. When the child is able to spit and doesn’t swallow the toothpaste, use fluoride toothpaste. Don’t allow swallowing of the toothpaste.
  • Parents should floss their child’s teeth until the child is able to do so themselves.
  • Reinforce good health and good early health habits by bringing your child in for regular dental visits.
  • Set a good example for your kids by taking great care of your own teeth and gums.
  • Be cautious with herbal or homeopathic teething remedies, as some contain very strong ingredients, like Belladonna. While not disapproved by the FDA, it is a strong nerve depressant.

Dr. McConnell is certified in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, and since 1978, the sole practitioner/owner of The Marin Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry in Novato, CA.

# # #

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Decreasing access to cigarettes for youth in the Minnesota Adolescent Community Cohort Study
2. New Study Indicates Decreasing Prescription Copayments Results in Increased Adherence for Patients with Chronic Diseases
3. Antidepressants Can Increase Depression, Impulsivity and Suicide Risk by Decreasing Dopamine
4. Breast cancer death rates among black women not decreasing across all states
5. American Lung Association Report Finds Lung Disease Death Rates Increasing While Cancer, Heart Disease and Stroke Death Rates Are Decreasing
6. Risky Sexual Behaviors Decreasing Among U.S. Teens
7. Treadmill Desks More Effective in Decreasing Prostate Cancer Risks Than Vitamin and Antioxidant Supplements
8. Pediatric patient body shape may play a key role in decreasing radiation dose during CT scans
9. For Bipolar Depression, Surveyed Experts Indicate That Current and Emerging Therapies Have No Advantage Over Seroquel in Decreasing the Severity of Symptoms
10. WIN Global Poll Finds Concern Of Swine Flu Decreasing Despite Not Being Prepared For A Pandemic
11. Transcept Announces Plans to Reduce Expenses by Decreasing Staff Following Recent Completion of Purdue U.S. License and Collaboration Agreement
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Tips on Decreasing Susceptibility to the H1N1 Virus - Optimum Oral Hygiene Can Prevent Flu 
(Date:12/1/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... United States, today announced that its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage ... category. The Company also announced that it has been selected as a 2015 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in medical payments per workers’ compensation ... utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a recent study by the Workers ... 16th Edition , found medical payments per claim with more than seven days of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... CloudLIMS today ... Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and Services category for its ... sample management software that helps labs organize data and track samples ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Diabetic ... United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of a ... catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... keeping their independence is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the ... to offer this next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... FREMONT, Calif. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... identify the Top 10 Clinical Data Management Solution ... of entries, a distinguished panel comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs, ... Velos in the illustrious list of top 10 clinical ... and the article on pages 14 and 36 respectively). ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Assurex Health, Inc. today ... giving healthcare providers an expanded range of options ... suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress ... i .   --> ... the addition of two new drug classes, 17 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... VERONA, Va. , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today unveiled a new corporate logo and brand ... in the design and engineering of bladed products ... --> --> Serving ... fiber, glass, and auto glass equipment, AccuTEC,s product ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: