Protect Yourself From The Flu By Using A Clean Toothbrush.

Published on March 7, 2012 by


Here is a summary of a great article from “The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute”. It provides some very practical tips to keep you healthy during cold and flu season (did this season ever end from last year?). We hope you can find a few ideas you can use! There are 15 suggestions. For those of us with a bit of OCD (me included), don’t panic.

Remember: these are suggestions !!!!!


Your hands are the main vehicles of transmission for the influenza virus. It is for this reason that the main recommendation to prevent [colds and the flu] is to wash your hands frequently.


The bacteria that cause E. coli, salmonella and gastrointestinal problems are found on the hands. You can remove many of these bacteria by washing your hands and scrubbing your fingernails. After all, you wash your hands before you put food utensils in your mouth to eat. Thus, it makes perfect sense to wash your hands before you put your toothbrush into your mouth.


1. Washing your hands after you brush is important as well. This hygiene practice will help reduce the spread of microorganisms as a result of the contact your hands make with your face, lips and mouth.

Washing your hands after you brush will reduce what you “hand over” to others. People are vulnerable to the germs that end up on their hands and under their fingernail beds. Good hand hygiene can make the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.


2. Wash your toothbrush before and after every use. Hold the brush under running warm water. The warm water will soften the bristles and help to release food particles and excess toothpaste. Rub your thumb over the bristles with force while now allowing cold water to wash away any remaining debris and toothpaste. The cold water will cause the toothbrush bristles to regain firmness and may limit the reproduction of flu-causing germs.


3.Disinfect your toothbrush by allowing it to soak in an antibacterial mouthwash. Stir it with the bristled end of your toothbrush for 30 seconds. Mouthwash containing alcohol will kill off most of the bacteria. You can also mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water and soak your toothbrush

in the solution if you don’t have mouthwash.


4. Another option is to store your toothbrush in a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) topical solution that is changed daily. Using enough of the solution to cover the bristles can keep your toothbrush disinfected. A quick way is to mix 1 teaspoon of peroxide in 1 cup of water and swish your toothbrush in it prior to use.


5. Soaking your toothbrush in vinegar once a week overnight can also help kill germs. White vinegar is preferable; brown vinegar might stain the bristles.


6. Using a tablet of denture cleanser like Polident® is another quick way to sanitize your toothbrush. This antibacterial cleaning system has detergents and enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food proteins. The effervescent or foaming action (Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid) provides a

mechanical cleaning action to loosen particles trapped between the bristles. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the denture cleaner from your toothbrush bristles and handle. **I personally find this a very effective way to keep the brush sanitized and free of residual toothpaste.**


7.  Deep clean your toothbrush by securing it in the top rack or in the silverware rack of the dishwasher. Avoid putting the toothbrushes in the lower rack as the handles could melt. The same applies to

tongue scrapers. It is also a good idea to routinely decontaminate your dental water jet reservoir and the tips (i.e., Waterpik) in the dishwasher. Just don’t use the dishwasher setting for the pots and pans

wash cycle as it may prove to be too hot.


8.  Avoid side-by-side storage of toothbrushes. Toothbrushes should be kept inches apart. Every family member should have a clearly identifiable, color-coded brush to avoid cross contamination. Store your toothbrush upright to expose bristles to the air. The Colgate® GRIP EMS® and the Crayola

G.U.M. toothbrushes stand upright independently. The design of the bases allows these toothbrushes to be positioned away from other brushes helping to reduce the chances of intimate contact.


9.  Keep your toothbrush as far away from your toilet as possible to cut down on airborne bacteria from waste. Every time you flush you propel the germs from your toilet into the air where they can land on your toothbrush. These fine droplets of toilet water can hover in the air for as long as two hours, eventually settling on all surfaces throughout the bathroom. Always flush the toilet with the top lid closed.


10.  Replace your toothbrush at the first sign of bent bristles. Worn toothbrushes have bristles with broken, frayed and sometimes sharp edges. These brushes are less effective in removing plaque and can damage the gums, even causing bleeding. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every season, every quarter or every three to four months – however you wish to remember.


11.  Air-dry your toothbrush by shaking the excess water from the bristles. Running your thumb or finger across the bristles will also help to remove the water.


12. Clean toothbrush covers with soap and water. Covers should be placed over the bristles of a dry toothbrush when possible. Plastic covers that fit over bristles keep them free of airborne or hand-held contamination.


13.Frequently clean the toothbrush holder with soap and water. Wall mounted toothbrush holders, as well as cups, cans and stands should be wiped down using disposable wipes to remove germs. Establish a routine of wiping down the countertop in front of and around the sink where you just

brushed; this tidy routine will remove toothpaste-filled saliva droplets. By no means should icky globs of toothpaste remain in the sink after brushing.


14. Purchasing toothpaste in a pump dispenser can help to eliminate the inclusion of every household member’s germs becoming one more ingredient in the family tube. Almost everyone makes direct contact with their toothbrush when they squirt toothpaste onto it. Hold your brush away from the tip of the pump. This can help to reduce the chances that contact will be made between the toothpaste and the toothbrush. Aquafresh toothpaste by GlaxoSmithKline comes in a pump dispenser (although is very abrasive).


15.  Throw your toothbrush away or the toothbrush of anyone in your home who gets a contagious sickness such as a cold, flu or strep throat. Any toothbrushes that come into contact with the contaminated toothbrush should also be thrown away. Brushes should also be changed at the onset of

an illness and again after you feel completely better. Erin R. Drew, MD, FAAP, a Board Certified Pediatrician says she routinely advised the parents of her patients to “replace their toothbrushes after you are no longer contagious, but before finishing the antibiotics.” She explained that “bacteria can live in the toothbrush and re-infect you when the antibiotics are done.” Dr. Drew was a practicing physician prior to joining a pharmaceutical company as a medical scientist. Existing scientific research clearly shows that infectious agents like the influenza viruses can thrive for significant periods on a toothbrush.



Here’s to a healthier, cold/flu season!

When to Tap Your Flex Spending Account…Early or Late???

Published on February 9, 2012 by

Early !!!

Why ???

Start the year with a trip to the dentist for major treatment (crowns, bridges, implants), Invisalign, restorative services (composite (tooth colored) fillings, endodontic services (Root Canals) and/or periodontal services.

Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) are provided by your employer but funded with pretax dollars. Employees elect an amount for a whole year then fund their FSA through equal payroll contributions throughout the year. 

Bonus! You may start spending the whole amount at the beginning of the year (for eligible expenses)…it is better than a low interest loan more like a no-interest loan…and there is a chance you may not have to “pay it back.”

If your position is terminated or you leave your job before year end, in general, your employer is on the hook, not you (that is the way the government set up the rules…). FYI….

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Wisdom Teeth – In or Out ???

Published on January 24, 2012 by

Wisdom Teeth – In or Out?

Wisdom teeth or third molars are typically the last teeth to develop and often become an issue in the late teen years.  The issue can surface in the form of painful or tender gums behind the second molars, a bad taste or foul odor emanating from the same area, or food routinely getting trapped under the gums behind the back teeth.  These symptoms could be a result of a number of causes but often are related to wisdom teeth that are making their way into the mouth.

Without adequate room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to erupt, a patient could experience infection, gum disease, crowding of the other teeth, and possible damage to neighboring teeth.  If a patient has any of these problems an evaluation of the area would be recommended to determine the need to remove the wisdom teeth.  Even if there are no symptoms in the late teen years, an evaluation would still be wise to prevent problems as the patient matures.  It becomes much more difficult to remove wisdom teeth later in life and the risks associated with the surgery increase.

Some may wonder if there is a need to have the wisdom teeth out if there is adequate space in the mouth.  Evaluating the space is best done in conjunction with a dentist.  Ample room in the mouth does not guarantee problem-free wisdom teeth.   Neglecting proper brushing techniques and flossing can lead to the teeth becoming compromised.

Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will allow the patient and the dentist to address the question of what to do about wisdom teeth.

“To floss or not to floss; that is the question!”

Published on November 23, 2011 by

To floss or not to floss; that is the question!

 “Too many options”, “my teeth are too tight together”, “it hurts”, “the floss shreds”, “my fingers are too big”, “I am not putting my hands in my mouth!”, “I am just too tired at the end of the day!”… on and on go our excuses (oh, I mean reasons)!
Phillips Sonicare has come out with a new “tool” that may just put an end to all those excuses.  AirFloss is a new dental tool you may want to add to your arsenal of toothbrushes and mouth rinses. It is designed to remove plaque from between the teeth by using a rapid burst of air and water droplets.
Although the definitive research comparing AirFloss and WaterPik will not be out until 2012, the AirFlosser shows a lot of promise. Initial reports show 99% more plaque removal than brushing alone.
Our staff recently had a very informative meeting with our Phillips Sonicare representative. Her arguments sound valid and the ease of use is pretty impressive. The AirFlosser only uses one teaspoon of a liquid. That can be warm/cold water, Listerine, a whitening rinse, or a fluoride rinse.
The advantages: Ease of use, prevention of cavities in between the teeth (using the fluoride rinse), less stain, healthier gums, no fingers in the mouth, and no floss shredding.
The disadvantages: The research is still out as to the proof that AirFlosser works as well or close to the results you would get with regular floss.
Cost: the AirFlosser runs from $70 (our cost offered to you, includes a $10 rebate) to $129.99 retail (Kohl’s).  Floss is $ 3.99 for 43.7yds (Glide) .
The jury is out so far for Phillips Sonicare AirFloss. Our staff will update the website with our recommendations after we try it out for a few weeks. The AirFlosser looks like a potential answer for those of you who just don’t get along with floss!
We would love to hear your comments on the AirFloss! Just click on the “comment” section and let us know what you think!

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AFD Gives Back to the Community

Published on November 16, 2011 by

Anderson Family Dentistry serves our community by donating toothbrush and toothpaste samples to FeedMore, an organization providing hunger relief through the Central Virginia Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and the Community Kitchen,   We also donate samples to our deserving and appreciated veterans at the McGuire VA Medical Center.  Helping others in need and serving our community is our way of giving back.

5 Excellent Reasons to Maximize Your Dental Insurance in 2011

Published on November 15, 2011 by

Why should I maximize my dental insurance benefits?  5 Reasons








      Benefits are only available within your contract year. You must use your benefits or lose them.  Each contract year you pay an out of pocket deductible.  Most companies base their contract year on a calendar year.  If you have dentistry to be performed, whether it be minor or major, it makes good sense to take advantage of any remaining benefits while available.  If you are paying monthly premiums take advantage of your 100% benefits – such as dental check ups, cleanings and diagnostic  xrays.  The possibility exists that fee increases may occur to offset increasing cost of materials, equipment and living.  By delaying dental treatment the risk exists that a condition could worsen therefore becoming more expensive and requiring more extensive treatment.  If you are approaching retirement, it is also prudent to utilize your dental benefits while available.

Please let us know your thoughts on this….

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Thumbs Up from our patient, Jeanne White! “Like” Anderson Family Dentistry on Facebook !!

Published on November 9, 2011 by

Jeanne White posted on Anderson Family Dentistry’s Wall.
“I am extremely impressed with Dr. Anderson and his staff. Today he put in a new crown, and he worked with me until it fit perfectly. Tammy was his wonderful, competent assistant. I am so pleased to be a client of Anderson Family Dentistry. jeanne white “

Welcome to AFD

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Welcome to Anderson Family Dentistry’s NEW Website!! 

 It is our goal to provide you with informative and relevant facts about Anderson Family Dentistry and insure contacting us is easy.  We invite you to look at our website and encourage you to make any suggestions.  Check back with us to find out 5 EXCELLENT REASONS to maximize your dental insurance benefits before the end of the calendar year !!

New patient appointments are available, contact us today !!!

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