As we’re entering the last few months of the year, cases of the flu and the common cold seem like they’re popping up left and right. Even if you choose not to get a flu shot, there are precautions you can take to keep these common viruses from spreading to yourself and your loved ones.
How to Prevent the Flu and Colds
- Wash your hands. As cliché as it sounds, washing your hands is the single most important way to stop the spread of germs. Research shows that about 80 percent of infectious diseases are spread by touch, and colds are contracted when germs come in contact with the hands, which then come in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. To wash your hands thoroughly, use soap and warm water and scrub for a minimum for 30 seconds. Although it will not fully protect you from the spread of germs, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will work in a pinch.
- Cover your nose and mouth. Instead of using your hands to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough, use the crook of your elbow or a tissue. This keeps the germs from getting on your hands and, as a result, spreading to other surfaces and, therefore, other people.
- Disinfectant is your friend. Germs can live on surfaces for hours. Disinfect high-traffic areas, such as tabletops, doorknobs, desktops, remote controls, and light switches. Remember, there’s no way to keep a household or other area sterile, but every little bit helps.
- Go disposable. Often, families share bathroom and kitchen hand towels, which only contributes to the spread of germs. Consider switching to disposable paper products when someone in the house is sick.
- Take care of yourself. The better you take care of yourself, the stronger your immune system will be. Eating healthy, sleeping well, and staying active will build your immune system and help you fight off infection.
What if I’m sick when I’m scheduled to come in for a dental appointment?
Dr. Fondriest and our dental team never want you to miss a dental appointment. Your oral health is extremely important to your overall well being. If you’re sick, however, we’d appreciate it if you’d let us know at least 24 hours before your appointment time. In an effort to maintain a healthy and clean environment for our other patients and team members, we will work with you to reschedule your appointment for a time that fits your busy schedule.
For all of your dental needs, call us, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, at (847) 234-0517 to reserve your appointment.