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Family Care Dental Clinic

Oral Health in Winter

Oral Health in Winter

The cold seasons can strain your oral health not just because of all the sweets and party drinks during the holiday season, but also because you eat more frequently during the winter. Here are some tips you should keep in mind.

According to NPR, you start craving more food in the fall and winter. They interviewed cardiologist Dr. Ira Ockene of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who explains his research shows that people’s average caloric intake is higher in the colder seasons than in the spring and summer.

It’s not because you’re munching more during all the December holiday parties. According to Dr. Ockene, it’s actually instinct that causes you to eat more during the colder seasons. Instincts from our common evolutionary ancestors who hibernated or had more trouble hunting and gathering during the fall and winter have been passed down to us. Our common ancestors probably had to hoard more food because of the increasing hardships with plants withering and animals taking shelter for most of the cold days.

Dr. Ockene says evidence shows that what triggers these food hoarding instincts is decreasing daylight. He says that as the days get shorter with sunlight becoming more scarce within a 24-hour period, your food cravings increase.

Obviously, eating more can lead to weight gain, but there’s another hidden danger you might not be aware of. Your oral health suffers too when you consume the sweets and mixed alcoholic drinks more frequently. According to Dr. Jim Steiner, consuming those more frequently increases your susceptibility to cavities because you’re introducing more sugar and enamel-weakening foods to your teeth.

With all the holiday parties and night outs, you should keep your daily dental care routine:

  • Brush and floss: brush 2 or 3 times a day and floss your teeth at least once a day!
  • Don’t brush or floss immediately after drinking acidic beverages.
  • Pay attention to when your teeth are sensitive and try to track what’s causing it.
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash daily to help seal the cold-sensitive teeth.
  • Avoid rinses that contain alcohol.

If you’re going to be eating more this winter, eat these healthy foods that keep you thin and your mouth healthy instead of carb-loaded foods:

Root vegetables.

Carrots, beets, and other root vegetables make for great finger-foods. You can snack on them while watching TV, and their crispy crunchy texture makes them a great substitute for chips. These antioxidant-rich snacks are low in carbs and high in fiber, which means they’ll keep you feeling full without making you fat. The Cleveland Clinic advises you to roast carrots to boost their beta-carotene content, and to boil turnips to boost their vitamins C and A content. Because they’re low in sugar, they won’t increase your risk for developing cavities as much as carb-loaded foods.


If you don’t add sugar to your oatmeal, it stays a low-calorie breakfast meal that warms your body. The Cleveland Clinic says oatmeal is high in zinc, which boosts your immune system and helps protect you from getting the flu.

Cruciferous vegetables.

Darky leafy vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, are fibrous. When you munch on them, they can help disturb plaque from forming and remove teeth-destroying acids made by bacteria in your mouth. These veggies are also high in vitamin C, which helps protect you from the flu. They’ve got next to no calories, so they also won’t make you fat.

Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!

We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family. Our dentists can help everyone in your family understand the importance of proper oral hygiene over time and the positive effects it has on your health. At Family Care Dental Clinic, we treat our clients to a soothing environment where they can receive quality dental care no matter what their needs are. Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!

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