Winter is fast approaching, and it’s time to think about how it can impact your dental health. Follow our easy oral health tips to help keep your mouth in great shape, no matter the weather.
Looking after your immune system
- Winter is cold and flu season, so it’s a great time to think about boosting your immune system to help you fight viruses more effectively. Boosting your immune system will help protect you against developing gum and mouth infections. Many people start to take cough syrups and throat lollies at this time of year, but these are often packed with sugar or are naturally acidic. When your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid, the risk of cavities increases; only take these medicines if you need to and be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards with water to help reduce the acidity and wash away excess sugars.
- Is your diet deficient in vitamin C? Consider taking vitamin C tablets to help your body produce collagen, which is essential for healthy, strong gums. Vitamin C is also important for helping to build healthy, strong blood vessels, and it helps strengthen your immune system.
- Did you realise your toothbrush can harbour millions of bacteria, some of which are harmful? It’s important to replace your toothbrush regularly, especially if you have been ill recently. You need to regularly replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or more often if you notice the bristles look worn or are splaying outwards. You should never share your toothbrush with anyone, and make sure you store it in an upright position where it can dry more quickly and where it doesn’t touch anyone else’s toothbrush.
Protecting your lips
- Winter sun and a harsher wind can increase the risk of canker sores and cold sores. Ensure you protect your lips by using plenty of moisturiser with a high SPF protection.
- Try to avoid touching your lips, and wash your hands regularly. This will help protect you against flu and colds as the bacteria responsible for these viruses are often transferred from your hands to your mouth.
- If spicy or acidic winter treats like cider cause canker sores, try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swishing it around the affected area. This will help clean and soothe the canker sores, speeding up healing.
- Use plenty of lip balm to avoid chapped lips.
Reduce tooth sensitivity
- Breathing in on a cold day can increase tooth sensitivity, so try using desensitising toothpaste to reduce these sensations. If these feelings persist, contact us for a checkup just in case they are caused by any untreated dental problems like tooth decay.
- We tend to drink more hot drinks that can be sugar laden during the winter, so remember to drink plenty of plain water as it is the best way to rehydrate and can help rinse away sugars after enjoying that comforting cup of hot chocolate.