How proper dental care can help fight off the flu

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HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Ralph Coppola is in for his annual cleaning at the Hamden Family Dental Center.

The widespread flu season has him taking proactive dental care steps.

He explained, “More this year than usual because of the fact how bad the flu is.”

He is vigilant when it comes to his toothbrush. He stated, “After I’m done with it, I soak it overnight until I use it again in mouthwash.”Related Content: Number of flu deaths in Connecticut rises to 105

So far, it’s working for Ralph. With those precautions along with getting the flu shot, he hasn’t come down with the flu.

His dentist, Dr. Tam Le said, if you do get sick, be sure to replace the toothbrush.

He explained, “The virus itself could still be in the toothbrush so we certainly don’t want to keep that virus in the toothbrush and then you’ll re-infect yourself.”

Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also kill germs.

“Before we brush, however, I would recommend that we rinse first to dilute acidity from the stomach because you don’t want to brush and spread the acid throughout the mouth,” Dr. Le continued.

Instead of regular cough drops, Dr. Le recommends buying sugar free to lower the risk of developing cavities.Related Content: Free flu shots offered at Waterbury Health Department

Brushing is key.

Dr. Le stated, “I brush several times throughout the day. Not because I’m a dentist, but because I don’t want to get the flu.”

And don’t forget to floss at least once a day.

Be sure to follow these important oral health tips recommended by the Connecticut State Dental Association – especially with the flu season extending possibly well into May.

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