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The Importance of Good Dental Care in Winter

Winter brings with it a host of challenges, from plummeting temperatures to shorter days. Amid the hustle and bustle of the busy winter season here in the Snowy Mountains, it's easy to let certain health habits slide, including dental care. However, maintaining good oral hygiene during the colder months is crucial for several reasons. Here’s why good dental care should be a top priority this winter.

1. Cold Sensitivity

The drop in temperature can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Teeth may become more reactive to cold air and hot foods or beverages, causing discomfort. Maintaining a good dental care routine, can help manage and reduce this sensitivity, however it is important to seek professional advice to help manage the cause of the problem rather than focusing solely on the symptoms.

2. Dry Mouth

Winter often means turning up the heat indoors, which can lead to dry air. This, combined with reduced fluid intake, can result in dry mouth, a condition that not only causes discomfort but also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Good dental hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, and staying hydrated are key to combating dry mouth.

3. Season Indulgences

The winter season is synonymous with rich foods and sugary treats, from cookies and candies to hot cocoa and wine. While indulging in these delights is part of the fun, it's important to remember that sugar is a primary contributor to tooth decay. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing your mouth with water after consuming sugary foods can help protect your teeth from cavities.

4. Reduced Immune Function

Colder weather can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses, including oral infections such as sore throats, gingivitis, mouth ulcers (canker sores), or oral herpes. Good oral hygiene is essential in preventing gum diseases, which can impact overall health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can help keep your mouth healthy and your immune system robust.

5. Preventive Dental Visits

Winter is a great time to schedule a dental examination. Many people use up their dental benefits by the end of the year, and starting the new year with a clean slate can help identify and address any issues before they become serious problems. A professional cleaning and examination can catch cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues early.

6. Combating Cold Sores

Cold sores are more common in winter, often triggered by stress and a weakened immune system. Good dental hygiene can help prevent the spread of the virus that causes cold sores. Additionally, maintaining healthy lips and the skin around your mouth by using lip balm can reduce the frequency and severity of cold sores.

Our Snowy Mountains Dental Practical Tips for Winter Dental Care

  • Brush Regularly: Ensure you brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Floss Daily: Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles between teeth and under the gumline.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and reduce the risk of dry mouth.

  • Use Mouthwash: An antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath. Consult your dentist to ensure you are using the correct mouthwash for your particular needs.

  • Protect Your Lips: Use a lip balm with SPF to prevent chapping and cold sores.

  • Limit Sugary Foods: Be mindful of your sugar intake and brush after consuming sugary or acidic foods.

  • Visit Your Dentist: Schedule a comprehensive examination and cleaning to ensure your teeth and gums are in good health.

At Snowy Mountains Dental, our best advice is that while it’s easy to neglect dental care during the busy winter season, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential. Not only does it help prevent common winter-related dental issues, but it also contributes to overall health and well-being. So, as you enjoy the winter activities, remember to take a few extra minutes each day to care for your teeth and gums. Your smile will thank you come spring!

Please contact the practice to make an appointment for a Check-up and Clean - receive $40 discount for combined appointments before 31st July 2024 - see website for more details.

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