MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It causes a staph infection that is resistant to several antibiotics.

MRSA commonly occurs in two settings. Hospital-associated MRSA happens to people in health care settings, for example hospitals. Community-associated MRSA happens to people who have close skin-to-skin contact with others, such as athletes involved in football and wrestling.

Infection control is the key to stopping MRSA in health care settings. To protect you, dental health care workers follow strict infection control practices as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ADA urges all dentists, dental auxiliaries and dental laboratories to follow infection control procedures to prevent the spread of disease-causing agents at your dentist’s office.

To protect yourself and others from MRSA:

  • Wash your hands often. It’s the best way to prevent infection.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages.
  • Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors or clothes.
  • Wash soiled sheets, towels and clothes in hot water with bleach and dry in a hot dryer.
For more information about MRSA, visit the CDC’s website