Winter in New York is a magical time of the year. As your NYC cosmetic dentist, I want to make sure that your teeth are looking and feeling good despite the snow, rain, and slush. The winter months bring about many wonderful changes, but winter can also hurt your teeth. As part of our dedication to you, we want to help make your smile glow even while the sun is not shining.
Teeth are sensitive to temperature
One of the first facts that you need to understand is that your teeth have pores. Your teeth are hard and strong, but they have tiny holes in them to help maintain good dental health. These pores lead into the teeth and ultimately influence the nerves that are there.
While these pores are necessary, they also make your teeth sensitive to temperature changes, especially when it is incredibly hot or freezing cold. Last year, the average temperate in Central Park was 38 degrees in January. You need to protect your teeth. Your teeth respond to temperature swings by expanding and contracting. This means that your teeth are sensitive to the extremes, and rapid temperature changes affect them.
Limit your time outdoors
When you are outside, you need to protect your mouth. You should try to limit your time outdoors as much as possible. This will help prevent cold sores in addition to shielding yourself from cold temperatures and temperature shifts. Should you have to go outside, it is wise to bring a scarf along with you. Breathing through your nose means that cold air is not hitting your teeth directly. This does not expose them to the air, saving you from discomfort.
When it is cold outside, some people clench their mouth very tightly. This is a mistake. Clenching and grinding your teeth is called bruxism and it can be incredibly harmful. Similarly, when your teeth are clattering together, this is bad for you. Staying warm not only feels good, but it is good for your dental health. Jackets with high collars, to warm your neck and jaw, are a must-have.
Drinking lots of water is vital in the Summer, due to how much water people lose through sweat. Consuming water is just as important in January and February. You need water to maintain a certain level of moisture in your mouth. Your saliva helps fight off bad bacteria, which in turn protects you from cavities and infection. When the heater is running, everything is drying out faster. People often do not realize this. Hydrating yourself is important for your whole body.
When it is nasty outside, we understand the temptation to drink hot chocolate. If a cold day calls for a cup of cocoa, do not add any sugar or try to find a sugar-free drink. Hot chocolate can and will stain your teeth if you drink enough of it, and the sugar of the drink may cause cavities. It is a good idea to limit how much hot chocolate you are drinking when you can.
Visit your dentist
If you have any questions about how to maintain a bright and healthy smile, come see the experts at SmilesNY. We want your smile to glow the same way you do. Call us today at 212-752-6537, and schedule an appointment with us.