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Maintaining good oral health is a year round job, but because it’s still the season many beloved people suffer from cold and flu, we thought it’s time to discuss your oral health during the winter.
If the dentin on your teeth has been exposed because of a cracked or fractured tooth, enamel erosion, or gingivitis don’t be surprised if a blast of cold air when you step outside can actually hurt your teeth! Exposed dentin is extremely sensitive to drastic changes in temperature, both hot and cold, so trying to warm up with some hot cocoa after sledding can also make the nerves in your teeth very uncomfortable and even painful. If you are in a lot of pain because of temperatures you should make an appointment to see your dentist to make sure there isn’t a more serious dental issue at hand. Your dentist will also have a few recommendations for products like toothpaste and mouthwash designed specifically for those with sensitive teeth.
Saliva is our body’s natural way of rinsing away food particles and odour causing bacteria. But in the winter time every time you exhale your body is losing moisture (that’s why you can see your breath on a cold day), limiting the amount of saliva working inside your mouth. And most cold sufferers know the feeling of a raw throat because their nose is stuffed up and they have to breathe through their mouths all day, which can also create a dry mouth. And sleeping with your mouth open at night is one of main causes of morning breath! A dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for plaque and odour causing bacteria so keep a bottle of water by your bed as well as at work!
Holiday Sweets and Treats
While everyone should be allowed to indulge a little on holiday sweets and treats keep in mind that those sugary snacks can do serious damage to your teeth! Sugars and acids can wear away at the enamel of your teeth over time so make sure you are brushing and flossing with extra care. And try not to snack on sugary treats throughout the day so your enamel has time to re-harden. Also be aware that hard candies can actually break your teeth if you bit down on the wrong spot!
If it is been a while since you’ve sat in the dentist’s chair, winter break is the perfect time to schedule an appointment! Make sure your teeth and gums are in tip-top shape for the New Year and let one of your resolutions for 2014 to be to keep them that way! Most patients need to visit their dentists’ twice year to keep their mouth in great shape, but some patients have more serious dental issues that require extra visits. A little preventative dentistry now can save you big time in the long run.