Good Habits for Healthy Teeth in the Winter Months
With the holidays and winter months fast approaching, it's good to be mindful of protecting your teeth throughout the season. With low temperatures, sugary foods and treats galore, it can be tricky to be mindful of our oral health. But the constant snacking, cold weather and not properly maintaining your oral hygiene could cause long term damage. Here are some of the ways that you can protect your teeth this winter!
Brush Your Teeth After Eating Sticky and Sugary Foods
As we all know, the holidays tend to bring a plethora of sweets, treats and food that contain a high amount of sugar and can stick to your teeth. Though it’s important to enjoy yourself with the seasonal treats, it’s good to try and limit the amount you eat. Moderating the number of festive treats will hugely help protect you from tooth decay and tooth pain.
More importantly, when you do partake in eating sticky cakes and chocolates, make sure that you brush after. This will help fight off the sugar that would otherwise stick to your tooth enamel for several hours. Another way to help keep a healthy mouth is to drink plenty of water between meals and snacks.
Make Sure You Clean Your
Over the festive season, it’s crucial to take the extra time to clean and take care of your teeth. Due to the colder weather and more sugar in your diet, your teeth are at a higher risk of getting cavities and causing sensitive teeth.
By gently brushing twice a day, using dental floss and mouthwash, you will be helping your teeth have the best chance they can get. This is a good time to have a look at the toothpaste you normally use and make sure it has 1,350 to 1,500ppm of fluoride. If it doesn’t, then it’s time for a change! If ever there was a good time to have extra protection for your teeth, this is it!
If you do not have an electric toothbrush, it might be worth investing in one. Dentists all over the UK highly recommend electric toothbrushes and though they can be expensive, there are often good sales and discounts in supermarkets. Sugar-free gum is also heavily recommended by many dentists, as it can help remove all of the extra debris that can be lodged in your teeth and gums throughout the day.
Use a Dental Mouth Guard
Mouth guards are brilliant devices to use all year round, particularly if you are regularly involved in sports or any other physical activity. Our teeth are much more sensitive and fragile in the winter, so if you do not have a mouth guard yet, now is a good time to invest in one.
Though you can buy them over the counter, these mouth guards are less likely to fit your teeth properly. The best option is for your dentist to make a custom mould of your mouth and teeth so you can wear a mouth guard that fits perfectly.
Be Mindful of Your Gums
The cold and flu season comes with full force in winter and unfortunately, our gums are susceptible to the same germs that are flying around. These germs can cause gum disease and sensitivity, particularly if your gums are more prone to infections.
During the winter months, try to pay extra attention to your gums, checking for redness and inflammation regularly. To keep bacteria exposure at bay, you must keep your hands and fingers out of your mouth. It’s also a good idea to use antibacterial mouthwash at least twice a day. All of these precautions combined will help protect your gums from harmful bacteria and infections.
Keep Your Neck and Face Covered and Warm
With the colder months approaching, it's important to cover your mouth not only for our physical health but for our oral health as well. Protecting your neck and face is important particularly when the temperatures start going below 0° C. When you are exposed to the cold air for longer periods, your gums, teeth and jawbone can suffer. By wearing a scarf, you can protect your teeth and gums whilst also fighting off winter colds and flues.
Enjoy Your Cheeseboard
You will be happy to hear that not all holiday treats are bad for your teeth. Indulging in cheese is a good way to enhance the natural acid in your mouth which can help with preventing tooth decay. Another well-known holiday food is cranberries. Cranberries contain a good amount of acid and, in moderation, they have been proven to help prevent tooth decay.
Book a Winter Dental Check-up
With all of the above tips, the final thing we recommend is for you to have a winter check-up. As teeth can be more vulnerable in the winter months, it’s worth having a visit to your dentist. They will examine your teeth and gums to make sure you don’t have any undetected problems.