Winter is here, and the cold weather means we bundle up, try to avoid catching a cold, and use more lotion on our hands to keep them from drying out. Did you know that winter can affect your oral hygiene, too? In today’s blog, Parkcrest Dental Group explains six ways winter affects oral hygiene.
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1. Chapped Lips
Freezing temperatures and harsh wind chills can quickly dry out your lips. Sore and chapped lips make it harder to speak, eat, and perform your daily oral hygiene routine. Keep your lips in top shape with chapstick or lip balm with hydrating capabilities and an SPF, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
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One way to help your chapped lips is to stay hydrated. You can actually get dehydrated in the winter because you rarely think to drink water when you’re not sweating. Plus, your lungs lose moisture to the air when it’s cold (particularly when you can see your breath as you exhale). Stay hydrated by taking a sip of water every 15 minutes throughout your day for better oral hygiene.
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3. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth happens when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Breathing cold air or having clogged nasal passages can cause dry mouth. A lack of saliva in your mouth can reduce your body’s ability to fight infections. Consider a sugarless chewing gum to activate your salivary glands and keep your mouth moist during the day, in addition to sipping water.
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4. Cold Sores
Cold sores appear in your mouth due to an infection, weakened immune system, or cold weather. Keeping your lips and mouth moisturized can prevent cold sores. Avoid touching your mouth with your hands, and wash your hands frequently, to reduce the spread of germs and improve your oral hygiene.
5. Tooth Sensitivity
Sudden temperature changes can cause sensitivity in your teeth if you have tooth decay. Reduce or prevent this by breathing through your nose or covering your face with a scarf before heading outside. You can also combat tooth sensitivity with special toothpaste as part of your oral hygiene regimen.
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Winter weather brings holiday activities, festive foods, and the sweet chocolates of Valentine’s Day. Up your oral hygiene game by taking extra time to brush and floss during the day. A fluoride mouth rinse works well, too, as long as you use it 30 minutes after brushing and flossing your teeth.
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Dental Care Tips by Parkcrest Dental Group
The staff at Parkcrest Dental Group wants you and your family to have the best oral hygiene at any time of year. Talk to our friendly, professional staff for other tips for the winter months. Contact Parkcrest Dental Group online or call (417) 887-1220 for more information.