Warm drinks, cozy blankets, and holiday movies are all things associated with the colder months. In between getting and giving gifts and cooking holiday feasts, you may forget to take good care of your smile. Since there are several mouth issues that are prevalent during the colder months, this can mean bad news for your beam. So you can enjoy the season to the fullest without the need for emergency dental treatment, read on to learn some tips to keep winter mouth issues from developing.
Tip #1: Wear Lip Balm
Since there’s less moisture in the air during the colder months, your skin will be more likely to become cracked and damaged. Not only will this make your mouth look less healthy, but it may also raise your risk of getting the herpes simplex virus (HPV), which causes cold sores. Wearing lip balm helps keep your lips hydrated. Wear one that contains SPF to protect your mouth from the sun as well.
Tip #2: Stay Warm
Muscles and joints often tense up more when it’s cold outside. This makes tendons, muscles, and surrounding tissues expand, which can be uncomfortable. This may also lead to additional discomfort or tightness for people with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues. The best ways to prevent this are by:
- Drinking hot beverages like coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider
- Staying warm by wearing layers whenever you go out
- Keeping your heat on at home
Tip #3: Drink Lots of Water
Dry mouth occurs when you aren’t producing enough saliva. Waiting too long to treat dry mouth may allow cavities, gum disease, mouth sores, and other oral health issues to develop. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help you avoid these problems. You can also chew sugar-free gum, suck on sugar-free hard candy, or munch on fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables to increase the amount of saliva you produce.
Tip #4: Pick the Right Toothpaste
For some, tooth sensitivity worsens during the winter. This is because additional pressure is put on the tooth nerves when the weather goes from hot to cold. Eating or drinking things that are hot or cold can also worsen sensitivity and cause sharp pain or discomfort. Try using desensitizing toothpaste, which protects the nerves in the teeth.
Tip #5: Use a Humidifier
A humidifier adds moisture back into the air. This will help keep your skin soft and well moisturized. When paired with lip balm and drinking plenty of water, this can keep your skin from cracking so oral health problems don’t develop.
Winter mouth problems are an unfortunate side effect of the colder months, but there are several things you can do to counteract them. With the above tips, you can maintain excellent oral health and a gorgeous grin all winter long!
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer A. Reed is the talented dentist who leads the exceptional team of oral health professionals at Smile Specialties. She began practicing dentistry in 1993 and has since helped countless patients achieve the beams of their dreams. With the weather getting colder, she can give you advice on how to keep winter mouth issues from developing so you can enjoy the coming months to the fullest. To learn more about their services or to set up an appointment with Dr. Reed, call Smile Specialties’ at (402) 488-5007 or visit their website.