Surgery or ICU visit coming up? Read this!

Brush ’em Twice!


Dentistry has always been the health care founded in prevention, and it turns out brushing twice a day is a part of keeping your hospital trips from ending with an ugly surprise!!  It probably isn’t a huge shock, but brushing your teeth helps keep you healthy!

Here’s a link to a study from Harvard where they talk about the benefits of brushing 2x a day while you’re in the hospital.  Specifically, twice-daily toothbrushing decreases your risk of Hospital-acquired pneumonia!

The Study Overview

Published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, the take home message is if you brush your teeth twice a day while yo

Jama internal medicine

u’re in the hospital, your risk of developing pneumonia is far less, and you leave the ICU quicker and have less need for ventilators.  Seems so simple, but the problem probably stems from the people who are recovering feel terrible and so need their care-givers to step up and make sure they get the basics met…

Pneumonia in particular is one of the most common infections people get while in the hospital – accounting for more than 633,000 Americans.  Almost 10% of them end up with fatal pneumonia, and the simple act of brushing 2 times a day will make that much less likely!  The study showed a 33% decrease in pneumonia and it was more impressive for those on a ventilator.  They were also almost 20% less likely to die in the ICU and moved out of the ICU quicker.

The Long & Short of it…

If you have to go to the ICU, make sure that even if you can’t, someone makes sure you get your teeth brushed at least 2 times a day.  Family member or the nursing team or you do it… but make sure you get your mouth as clean as possible.  Nothing is as effective as brushing twice a day, but you can obviously add whatever other tools work for you!  We hope you don’t need to go to the ICU, but if you do, we want to see you after!  🙂

The Study Link

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