Are you ready for 2021’s months of winter? By now, you’ve probably got your winter tires on and your boots by the door. Your Christmas decorations may still be up, but they’re really winter decorations so they can stay up for a while yet, right? So, you’re all set for winter. But what about your teeth?
Teeth? It’s true, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to your teeth as you prepare to face another Calgary winter. After all, you’re going to need those teeth once winter is behind us. Here’s what your dentist in NE Calgary wants you to keep in mind until those sunny, balmy days return.
During winter, brush even more softly
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to brushing their teeth is brushing too hard. Harder is not better, since brushing too will gradually wear away your enamel and make your teeth even more likely to be sensitive. In the winter months, your teeth may be especially sensitive when exposed to cold air. Make a point to switch to a soft-bristled brush, to brush gently (especially around your gums) and to use a sensitive-teeth toothpaste.
Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate
Drinking lots of water during the summer months is important because you’ll sweat outside. Drinking lots of water is just as important in the winter because heated air indoors tends to dry your mouth — especially overnight. When your mouth is too dry, it allows more harmful bacteria to develop than usual. Drinking water will keep your mouth moist to keep those bacteria at bay. The fluoride in the water will also help prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Are you switching to any winter sports?
People who might ordinarily join a basketball rec league or take up skiing and snowboarding in 2021 may be forced to make other choices due to COVID-19-related shutdowns this year. But whether it’s in winter 2021 or some other time, be sure to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from injury and damage in any contact or collision sports. The last thing you want this winter is to have to rush to an emergency dentist near you over a broken tooth.
Enjoy your hot chocolate… smartly
Who are we to tell you not to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate? It’s sometimes the ideal beverage for the season. Having said that, hot chocolate is also sugary enough to do plenty of damage to your teeth unless you brush your teeth quickly and thoroughly after indulging. Our best advice is to enjoy your hot chocolates in winter 2021 in a sugar-free version. You can make it richer by making it with milk instead of water, and your teeth will benefit from the extra calcium boost.
Keep washing your hands often
People are washing their hands more often than usual this year to try and keep community transmission of the coronavirus at bay. There’s another particularly good tooth-related reason to wash your hands even more than usual in the winter months. Cold sores that develop around your mouth often flare up in the winter, and they’ll be even more painful for the next few months when exposed to cold air. Washing your hands will help keep those cold sores and other nasty viruses and bugs away from you and your loved ones.
Enjoy the winter months to come. As we all navigate restrictions related to the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist in Saddle Ridge will communicate with you about how to ensure your oral health and how to manage any necessary treatment while balancing risks of community transmission with the importance of timely treatment at a dental clinic near you.