When the temperatures begin to drop, we often become concerned with the upcoming season filled with colds and sniffling noses. But that’s not the only thing we have to worry about during the drier, colder months — our oral health is also affected by winter, as well. From dry, chilly air to the indulgence in holiday treats, winter can take a toll on your teeth. Montgomery Dentistry wants to help you keep your smile bright and healthy throughout the colder months. Follow these essential winter oral care tips for
1.) CHANGE THE WAY YOU BRUSH
When the colder months roll in, the humidity in the air begins to drop. This can often lead to dry mouth — a condition where your mouth produces less saliva than usual. Saliva is crucial for maintaining oral health as it helps to neutralize acids, cleanse the mouth, and prevent tooth decay. Combat the effects of dry mouth by adjusting your brushing routine.
One way to change your brushing game in the winter months is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. A softer brush is gentler on your teeth and gums, helping reduce the risk of irritation. Do your best to avoid aggressively brushing, as this wears down the needed enamel on your teeth and leads to sensitivity.
Another way to protect your teeth during the colder months is to opt for a toothpaste with fluoride. This toothpaste will help strengthen your enamel and combat cavities. Consider adding a fluoride mouthwash to your routine for an additional line of defense.
2.) DRINK WATER
While staying hydrated is essential year-round, it becomes crucial during the winter months!
When homes start cranking the heat, it’s easy for air to become dry. This in turn, dries your mouth out overnight. A well-hydrated mouth is essential for maintaining saliva production, which plays a key role in protecting your teeth.
Keeping your water intake high will help maintain moisture in your mouth, which helps reduce bad bacteria from developing, causing cavities and gum disease. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day and avoid excessive sugary and acidic beverages. Having lots of coffee, tea, and hot cocoa, can contribute to tooth decay.
3.) PROTECT YOUR LIPS
Winter winds and low temperatures can wreak havoc on your lips causing them to become dry, cracked, and painful. Chapped lips can not only affect your comfort, but also your oral health. When your lips are damaged, it’s easier for bacteria to enter your mouth, leading to potential infection.
To protect your lips, invest in a good-quality lip balm with SPF to shield them from the sun’s harmful rays. Apply chapstick regularly, especially before heading outdoors. Avoid licking your lips, because as the moisture evaporates, leaving them drier than before.
4.) WEAR A MOUTHGUARD
The winter months bring a plethora of fun activities — from skiing, to snowboarding, to hockey, to ice skating — there’s always something fun to do! While these sports are thrilling, they also pose certain risks to your teeth. Accidental falls or collisions can result in severe dental injuries.
Protect your smile by wearing a custom-made mouthguard during winter sports and activities. A mouthguard acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact and reducing the risk of dental trauma. While over-the-counter options are available, custom mouthguards from your dentist are best in offering precise protection and comfort.
5.) SCHEDULE A DENTAL CHECKUP
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are an essential part of maintaining your dental health. At Montgomery Dentistry, we’re here to keep your smile healthy and bright!