Winter Tips to a Healthy and Happy Mouth
You wouldn’t think it to be true, but the winter is a particular season where we are susceptible to problems when it comes to our oral cavity (pun very much intended). Winter is in full swing, and February still lies ahead, which is often the coldest time of the year. So take our advice over here at CITIDental Brookline.
During the winter months, our skin gets the most protection, as we bundle up to guard ourselves against the cold, but it’s not the only part of our body that’s vulnerable. We hope you feel free to spend your time playing in the snow and engaging in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. But we also hope that you take care of your mouth leading up to your Spring Cleaning with us. Take heed to the winter tips we break down below.
1.) Cut out those cold sores.
Though you don’t feel it much on your skin in the winter, the sun can be typically harsh. Spending that extra time out in your winter wonderland can antagonize and definitely exacerbate cold sores. It’s never a convenient time to get cold sores. They can be embarrassing and happen on one of the most exposed parts of your body: your mouth.
When contending with cold sores, you can put on topical solutions for temporary relief. You should also make sure to spring for lip balm with extra SPF. Use products with SPF 15 or even strive for higher. Keeping your hands clean can really keep you in the clear as well, which avoids the spread of bacteria. Stress can also be a common cause of oral breakouts. Fight stress by getting good nights of sleep and maybe supplement that on-the-go routine with some meditation or yoga.
2.) Ditch Chapped Lips
When you plan on spending the day up on the slopes, whether you’re a planker or a rider, chapped lips are hardly keeping it “après”. Wind, cold and sun exposure creates a ripe environment for dry, chapped lips. You don’t even need to ski or snowboard to make yourself vulnerable. In cold, dry, windy areas, exposure to the elements is inevitable and can damage the skin on your lips, which is some of the most delicate skin on your body. You gotta keep them protected!
Just like when you contend with cold sores, wearing a daily lip balm that has at least SPF 15 can do wonders for your lips. Apply it often; you really can never use this stuff too much. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, tap water whenever you can, since it contains fluoride. Installing a humidifier in your room and turning it on when you go to bed can be very beneficial too. Petroleum jelly is another great way to lock in moisture.
3.) Canker Sores
Drinks and foods high in acid tend to cause canker sores. Whether it’s the copious amounts of ketchup, orange juice, or spicy foods to keep us warm, these are going to make us more susceptible to discomfort down the road. A well-placed canker sore can be the bane of your existence for days or even weeks in extreme cases. Don’t let canker sores ruin your fun.
Completely avoiding the types of foods listed above can certainly help prevent canker sores. If you already have one, swish a mixture of sea salt and about half a cup of water or so to help neutralize the pain a bit and to clean the sore (or sores, you poor thing). Alcohol-free solutions on the market even label themselves as “mouth sore rinses.” Go figure. Mouth sores can also be caused by your orthodontic appliances, so make sure that yours are fitted correctly to cause less irritation.
You might feel a surge of pain while biting into cold foods or by taking in a sharp breath of cold air. Your teeth are more sensitive during the cold winter months. Cold temperatures and unforgiving wind can often leave your teeth feeling sore, even when you cut out the ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Since most of us don’t have the luxury of avoiding the cold weather, brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste can be helpful. Colgate® offers a good option, keeping sensitivity quelled for the winter months with continued use. Sensitive toothpastes tend to use ingredients that will protect your teeth from being sensitive to those more extreme temperatures. That way you can those coldest foods and drinks worrying about your tender enamel.
The last piece of advice we always give is to schedule and maintain regular visits with CITIDental Brookline. We’ll be your first defense against oral problems no matter what the season is. Winter is a time to celebrate, not to experience any of the inconveniences listed above. Celebrate with your family instead of being a party pooper. Remember to visit CITIDental Brookline soon!