It’s Officially Flu Season: Are You Prepared?

flu preventionThis year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention have declared an early start to the flu season, and warn that it may affect more people than in previous years. Medications can help ease influenza-like symptoms, but protecting yourself from the flu is the only way to spare you and those around you from its agony. As part of her dedication to the oral and overall health of all of our patients, Ankeny family dentist Dr. Erika Peddicord offers advice for lessening the flu’s impact this season.

What You Should Know

One of the main challenges of flu control is that the virus is highly contagious. It is also a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization, and the virus can evolve, making preventive efforts difficult. To help prevent contracting the virus, be sure to wash your hands often. Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; these are easy pathways for microbes to enter your body. The CDC also recommends that you receive a vaccine every year, and avoid close contact with people who are ill. If you begin to feel ill or exhibit flu symptoms, such as fever, coughing, vomiting, or other cold-like symptoms that seem to grow worse, see your physician immediately.

In Case of Illness

Unfortunately, even the best prevention methods are not fully guaranteed to prevent the flu. If you do become afflicted with the flu, be sure to take the medications your doctor prescribes and follow his/her directions carefully. Your weakened immune system may also allow oral bacteria to grow and multiply at a faster rate, increasing the risk to your oral health. Although you may be hard-pressed to rise out of bed when ill, hopefully you will not be bedridden and require a bedpan. When you rise to use the restroom, take advantage of the opportunity to brush your teeth after washing your hands. Flossing can be accomplished more simply by keeping the dental thread close at hand, such as on a nightstand.

Family Dentistry in Ankeny, IA

If it’s been a while since you’ve last visited the dentist, contact Peddicord Family Dentistryto schedule a dental checkup and cleaning.  Making sure your oral health is in its best shape now can help improve your chances of protecting it in case you become ill. To schedule an appointment with your Ankeny dentist, call (515) 963-3339 today. Located in the 50021 area, we proudly welcome patients from Ankeny, Bondurant, Cambridge, Sheldal, Maxwell, Collins, and all surrounding communities.