Did you know that exposed skin isn’t the only part of your body that can be affected by a drier climate? Colder temperatures can also affect your oral health. Try these dental care tips for a healthier mouth this winter.
Tips for a healthy mouth
- Moisturise your lips.. Cold winter temperatures can dry your lips and cause chapped lips. To minimise the effect, try using a moisturising lip balm that contains SPF protection this is great to prevent sun damage. Because there is less humidity in the air during winter, installing a humidifier at home or even to your bedroom can also add extra moisture.
- Keep warm. If you’re feeling a little bit chilly, remember to cosy up with a blanket or put on a jacket. Those affected by TMJ disorders can minimise your pain by staying warm. I have personally seen many incidents of jaw problems after chattering or clenching of teeth after a cold experience. Staying warm may prevent your disc joint from slipping, or causing referred muscle pain.
- Winter is the most common season to be fighting off viruses such as the flu. A weak immune system is also a catalyst for inflammation in your gums and mouth infections. It is worth considering vitamin tablets to reduce the severity and symptoms of your colds. There is a lot of research that forces us to consider that our diets are not sufficient in getting all of our recommended intake of nutrients and vitamins.
- Did you also know that a lot of throat lollies and cough syrups are very acidic or sugary and can lead to more dental damage as well? Another reason to fight off those colds and flus, and avoid use of these medications.
- Don’t forget to throw away your old toothbrush approximately every three to six months, especially if you’ve caught the flu or a cold. You don’t want to be using your toothbrush after having had COVID 19, flu, or gastrointestinal upsets.
- Do you suffer from cold sores? Battling the harsh winter wind and sun can cause a breakout of cold sores and canker sores. To try and minimise the risk of cold sores, try using moisturisers or products that include SPF protection.
- The desire to consume multiple litres of water during the winter months becomes less likely. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and those beloved lattes become our friend. It is very important to hydrate our bodies and keep our saliva levels high to prevent the risk of dehydration and increased risk of decay or fungal issues.
- If you are experiencing sensitivity during the cold, and those cold morning breezes make you cringe, it is time to get it checked with your dentist. Occasionally, desensitising toothpaste will ease the irritation from the cold, but it can also be a sign that your teeth are telling you there is trouble in that area. It can also be a sign that you have been clenching or grinding your teeth.
- For a lot of children in Perth, winter is the time to play hockey, soccer or football. Make sure to avoid boil and bite mouthguards and get a proper mouthguard made from a dentist. Mouthguards not only protect the teeth and gums, but also cut the risk of concussion by 50%. Most health insurance cover mouth guards extremely well. Consider a new mouthguard yearly for children under 15 due to the number of changes happening with the teeth before then.