As winter kicks into full gear, the last thing on your mind are your teeth. Bomb cyclones and snow drifts as tall as children, are understandably, a bit more pressing. Making it to your car in the single digits definitely overshadows taking care of your pearly whites.
Don’t neglect your teeth though. Winter is a tough season for teeth and practicing poor dental hygiene only makes it worse. So, how can you keep your teeth pretty in ugly weather? Well, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help. After all, we are New York City’s premier cosmetic and implant dentists!
Find three important tips for keeping your teeth healthy below. If you need a personal touch, contact us today for your complimentary consultation!
Fight That Dry Mouth
Winter means less moisture in the air, which also means, your mouth is going to be dryer. Now, dry mouth on its own is harmful enough. Combine dry mouth and a cold, or flu—things get much worse.
Dry mouth is caused when you don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth lubricated. This leads to bacteria building up on your teeth, between your teeth, and across your gums. It also leads to bacteria forming in the space between the gum and tooth, also known as a pocket.
During the winter, when there is less moisture in the air, dry mouth is more common. Make sure to stay hydrated and even drink more water than you normally do. You should also stay on top of brushing, flossing, and general dental hygiene habits. Finally, avoid drinking as much caffeine and alcohol.
Sensitive Teeth and the Cold
The number one complaint we hear from patients during the winter is that their teeth are sensitive to the cold. They teeth hurt when they breathe outside and are just generally uncomfortable. This makes sense, as the winter months are notoriously hard on sensitive teeth.
Your teeth are porous, which means that they’re susceptible to extreme hot or cold. When you breathe in cold air, your teeth actually contract. This allows cold air to hit sensitive spots along, and even under, your gum line. Once the cold air is gone, your teeth return to their normal size. This repeats over the course of the winter and, if left unchecked, can cause microscopic cracks to form on your tooth’s enamel.
These tiny fissures are breeding grounds for bacteria and plaque. This makes it vitally important that you maintain healthy brushing, flossing, and mouthwash routines. It also helps a lot to get a fluoride treatment or two during the winter to help bolster your enamel. You can also breathe through your nose and drink hot or cold drinks through a straw.
Don’t Forget Your Gums
Your teeth aren’t the only ones taking a beating during the winter months. Your gums are at an increased risk of developing gingivitis or periodontitis, too. These shockingly common gum diseases (around half of all adults have gum disease) increase in the winter and it’s vital to keep your mouth protected.
You should practice proper oral hygiene and make sure to floss during the winter months. Of course, you should always be flossing, but you really don’t want to skip during the winter. You’re also going to want to make sure you get regular check ups and stay on top of any newly discovered issues.
It’s tough to keep your teeth pretty in ugly weather, but it isn’t impossible! If you follow the steps we mentioned above, you’ll be in good shape for having a healthy mouth during the winter. Don’t forget, we’re here to help too! Give us a call today at 1-888-997-5272 to learn more about our excellent periodontic services.