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Tips on Decreasing Susceptibility to the H1N1 Virus - Optimum Oral Hygiene Can Prevent Flu
Date:11/30/2009

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 infecti
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