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Strep Throat - Prevention

To avoid getting strep throat, it is a good idea to avoid contact with anyone who has a strep infection.

Wash your hands often when you are around people with colds or viral or bacterial illnesses. Do not share toothbrushes or eating and drinking utensils.

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Dental Tips for Looking Younger

Your mouth is more than just a pretty smile. It's also a gateway to your overall health. Keeping that gateway clean may keep you healthier longer -- and looking younger. “Just as white, straight teeth convey youth, a smile with crooked, discolored, worn, or missing teeth is associated with an aged look,” says Edmond Hewlett, DDS, professor of restorative dentistry at UCLA's School of Dentistry. “The adage ‘long in the tooth,’ used to describe older persons, reflects the fact that gum disease causes...

Read the Dental Tips for Looking Younger article > >

  • Bacteria are almost always transmitted by contact with tiny droplets from an infected person. Strep throat is passed from one person to another by contact with the tiny droplets of an infected person's cough, sneeze, or breath.
  • Bacteria can also live for a short time on doorknobs, water faucets, and other objects. If you touch an infected object and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can become infected with the bacteria or virus.
  • Bacteria can also be carried on food.

Keep up your body's resistance to infection with a good diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise. Managing stress can also strengthen your body's ability to fight off illness, such as strep throat.

Humidify your home during the dry winter months or year-round if you live in a dry climate. Moisture in the air (humidity) helps keep your mucous membranes moist and more resistant to bacteria. You can use a humidifier in the bedroom while you sleep. But use care if a person in the home has asthma or allergies, because mold or other particles that collect in the humidifier can make these conditions worse. Clean humidifiers on a regular basis.

Stop smoking, and avoid breathing others' smoke. Smoke irritates the throat tissues and may make you more likely to get infection.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 16, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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    You are currently

    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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