How to increase your chances of beating any virus?

Raise your hand if you have experienced any sense of anxiety, fear or stress as a result of COVID-19 news. As we near the end of this first week of Shelter-in-Place and Stay-at-Home orders for most of us in north Texas, I wanted to check-in and share some of my thoughts.

 I wish I could tell you there is a simple way to never be exposed to any bacteria, viruses or germs and never get sick but as we all know that is nearly impossible. So let’s talk about two different ways you could decrease your chances of getting sick.

First would be to minimize your exposure to bacteria and viruses, which is exactly what we are trying to do during this COVID-19 pandemic:

1.            Wash hands

2.            Cover your mouth when coughing or cough in your elbow

3.            Don’t touch your mouth or eyes.(Don’t put dirty objects in your mouth either)

4.            Keep safe distance from others(Social distancing)

5.            Stay home if you know you are sick or stay away from someone if you know they are sick

Second way to decrease your chances of getting sick is to boost your defense ie your immune system.

Don’t forget our body has a natural defense system to fight virus and bacteria. The immune system is our body’s defense mechanism that protects us and attacks virus and bacteria that we come in contact with. So if we could boost our immune system it would decrease our chances of getting sick.

Following are a few ways to help support your immune system so it’s ready to fight those harmful bacteria and viruses:

1.            Eat healthy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetable and whole grains.

2.            Exercise. Try to get at least 30 mins of exercise daily.

3.            Don’t smoke and/or only drink alcohol in moderation.

4.            Get adequate sleep. Generally 7-9 hours of sleep daily.

5.            Try to minimize stress. Easier said than done sometime. Techniques such as focus breathing, body scan, mindful mediation, guided imagery and prayer all help reduce stress.

I know most of you already know this information but I am hoping as you read this you become more mindful and implement these habits in your daily routine.

Be safe and stay healthy.

Attention Men: Don’t Avoid the Dentist!

Compared to women, men are less likely to visit a dentist, oftentimes, only seeing a dentist when a problem arises. Here are some dental health tips for men:

1) Change your toothbrush/brush head every 3-4 months

2) Do a visual check in your mouth to looks for signs of any abnormal growth, skin irritation, and swelling. Men that smoke cigars, cigarettes, use snuff or chew tobacco are at a higher risk for oral cancer

3) If you play contact sports or clench your teeth during workouts, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from unnecessary trauma

4) If your gums bleed when brushing, contact you dental office for an evaluation in the event it’s due to gum disease

5) Certain prescription medications can cause dry mouth; review these medications with your dentist so that he/she can customize a hygiene plan to meet your needs.

6) Be mindful of your diet; avoid sipping soda or energy drinks throughout the day

7) Don’t forget to Floss! Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth.