Now that we’ve entered the cold Chicago winter, it is important to be extra diligent about maintaining our oral health. To keep your teeth and gums in great condition, be sure to follow these easy steps!
1. Stay hydrated.
During the winter months, the lack of moisture in the air can affect your oral health. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath), and even difficulty with eating and speech. In order to protect your oral health during the cold weather months, make sure to drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum—this will keep your mouth moist and prevent the effects of tooth decay. Opt for hot water with lemon or caffeine-free tea over caffeinated beverages that can dehydrate you. Finally, try using a humidifier in your house to add moisture to the air and keep your oral health in good condition throughout the season.
2. Limit sugary sweets and acidic foods.
With the winter months comes the holiday treats, and this can cause a number of oral health issues. For starters, excess sugar can cause the bacteria in plaque to release harmful acids on your dental enamel. These acids, as well as the acids in certain foods like coffee or citrus fruits, can wear down your dental enamel and lead to decay. With tooth decay, you might also experience pain and sensitivity to the cold as a result of the exposed dentin layer of your tooth. Sugary and acidic foods can also increase the likelihood of getting canker sores. Ultimately, maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet is key to maintaining your oral health, so limiting these harmful foods this winter can keep your teeth in great shape.
3. Practice good oral hygiene.
Solid oral hygiene practices are even more critical during the winter months. This time of year is cold and flu season, which means your immune system is depleted as it is. Brushing and flossing your teeth each day helps to fight the bacteria that can lead to the gum infection known as gingivitis. It can also help to combat the effects of your holiday treats and sugary snacks. Therefore, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and even after meals when possible. You should also make sure you floss at least once every day. Doing so will keep you in good oral health all season long.
4. Schedule a post-holiday dental check-up.
When the damage of the holiday season has been done, there’s only one surefire way to get your oral health back on track: scheduling a dentist appointment. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth to look for signs of decay, gingivitis, or other oral health issues. They will also perform a professional cleaning to remove tartar buildup and restore your oral health.
To schedule your next dentist appointment, call Oradent Associates in Chicago today!