Monthly Archives: January 2018

Careful! Your Toothbrush Could Make You Sick!

Oral Health Royal Dental TXDuring cold and flu season, there are several precautions that people take to stay as healthy as possible. We wash our hands more, and keep hand sanitizer nearby. These are good habits that come highly recommended due to the fact that it is natural for us to touch our face multiple times in a day. Whatever bacteria and other yuck that we may have picked up can be transferred and then, next thing we know, we’re down with the flu.

Here’s the kicker . . . the bacteria that creates that flu is on your toothbrush. It isn’t that your toothbrush caused your sickness. It’s that this daily-use instrument picks up microorganisms from your mouth. When you are sick, you’re spreading germs you really don’t want to pick back up again.

  • Numerous studies have indicated that most toothbrushes are capable of harboring bacteria and viruses.
  • It isn’t just the surface of the toothbrush that you hold that can be contaminated, it’s the bristles themselves.
  • The number of microorganisms picked up by a toothbrush correlates directly with the number of bristles on the brush.
  • Fewer microorganisms are found on toothbrushes with clear, translucent heads. This is because many viruses and bacteria are sensitive to light.

Tips for Avoiding Reinfection from Your Toothbrush

The last thing you want is to kick a cold and get sick again because of your toothbrush. Some ways to keep your brush from picking up harmful microorganisms include:

  • Purchase a transparent toothbrush with a small head (fewer bristles)
  • Consider storing your toothbrush in your bedroom or closet rather than your bathroom, where microorganisms contaminate just about every surface.
  • Clean it or replace it. When we clean our toothbrushes (soak in diluted castile soap), we may only need to replace them a few times a year. When we don’t clean them, and most of us don’t, we may benefit from monthly replacement. Replacement may also be necessary after an illness, even the mild cold.

Your toothbrush is meant to be a beneficial tool for maintaining oral health, not a biohazard. With proper care and replacement, this is possible.

Supplement your daily oral care with semi-annual checkups and cleanings at Royal Dental. Contact an office near you for friendly service.

How Your Mouth Relates to Longevity

Oral Preventive Houston, TX | Royal DentalWe all know that we will grow older and that, eventually, we will be “old.” The realities of growing old spur many of us on to take better care of ourselves. Long before our senior years, we may eat better and exercise more. We may take supplements to support the health of our brain, heart, bones, and other organs. There may be certain strategies that you have already implemented to minimize the chance that aging might degrade your vitality and quality of life. We wonder, though, is managing your oral health one of them?

The Mouth-Body Connection

You may have heard this term before, and may even know that a condition like gum disease could increase your risk for heart problems. The truth is, there is evidence that links the mouth to every part of the body. The health of the teeth and gums is relevant to the level of risk one has for low-grade toxicity and inflammation in the body, to sleep troubles, and even to dementia.

Reviving an Old Model

If you were to look at life as a timeline from birth to death and create an arc for the quality of living, you might feel naturally inclined to draw that arc from a high point to a low point. This is an old model of aging that is slowly changing, fortunately. And the good news is that each of us has the opportunity to affect how long we enjoy a good quality of life. We have a bit of control over the sharpness of that arc.

When you imagine yourself at 80 years of age, do you see things like taking a walk with your beloved every day? Do you imagine that you will still be able to travel, and get down on the floor to play with great-grandchildren? Will your 80-year-old self-be able to eat a variety of foods – and with your teeth? These are all aspects of rounding out that arc and adding longevity to your quality of life.

It’s Never Too Late to Start

  • Twice a day. Two full minutes. Not too hard.
  • Floss every day.
  • Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the back of the mouth.
  • Minimize the acidity of your diet.
  • Obtain dental checkups and cleanings twice a year.
  • If you grind your teeth, obtain proper treatment from your dentist.

Royal Dental has several offices in which friendly service is the norm. Contact us so we can get started on maintaining your oral health for life.


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