Tips to Keep Your Teeth Healthy This Winter
Winter is a fun time, filled with hot chocolate, warm quilts, and lots of holiday gatherings. However, it can also be hard on your teeth. When temperatures drop below freezing, it's especially important to exercise good oral care habits. Colder weather makes people more susceptible to illnesses like the flu and colds, which can result in bacterial infections in the mouth. Additionally, dry mouth is more prevalent in the winter; this causes bad breath and makes teeth more vulnerable to cavities. While winter may seem like a long season, it's important to keep these tips in mind to keep your oral health in shape all season long.
- Choose a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth to prevent decay and neutralize acids in the mouth that cause tooth decay. It also helps to speed remineralization once a tooth has decayed.
- Avoid sticky foods. If you have a habit of chewing on ice or hard candies, then it's time to kick the habit. These sugary treats can lead to plaque buildup and can cause tooth erosion.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health, but drinking water can also help wash away food particles that get stuck between your teeth.
- Get in the dentist's chair regularly. Even if you're not feeling sick, it's still important to get routine cleanings and checkups every six months. A dentist will be able to clean your teeth and gums while examining your mouth for signs of gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental health issues.
- A healthy diet is good for oral health in many ways, but there are a few specific foods that are especially helpful for protecting teeth from decay and cavities. These include vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy products. Combining these foods with foods high in calcium helps strengthen your teeth against the effects of plaque acid. Good leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and turnip greens. Calcium-rich dairy choices are yogurt, cheese, and milk. Meats high in protein, such as chicken or turkey, are also good for teeth and gums. Some fruit choices that are good for teeth are apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, oranges, peaches, and pears.
- Vegetables rich in vitamin D and vitamin A help boost the immune system, which is especially useful during cold and flu season. Some of these vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and spinach. Raw veggies are preferable because cooking them may deplete some of the nutrients. An easy way to enjoy more raw vegetables is by snacking on carrot sticks with hummus dip.
- Sugary treats like ice cream, candy, cookies, cake, or soda can all do a number on your teeth. They can leave behind a sticky residue that fuels plaque growth and can even temporarily soften your enamel. If you must indulge in these sugary treats, try to rinse your mouth out with water after eating them. You may also want to reach for some sugar-free gum to help dislodge sticky food particles from between your teeth.
- In order to avoid serious oral health complications, it's important to see a dentist before winter hits and again after it's over. They'll be able to give you a thorough examination and address any potential issues before they get worse.
Our team at Care 'N' Cure Dental is here to answer any questions you have about keeping your mouth clean and healthy this winter. Call our dental office today at (469) 298-3892 to schedule an appointment with us. You can also request an appointment online by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!