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5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Mouth During the Winter

December 16, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — petalumasmilesteam @ 7:32 pm
Woman in sweater smiling during the winter

As the weather gets colder, it’s not uncommon to experience oral health issues such as tooth sensitivity, chapped lips, and dry mouth. Do you often struggle with these problems during the winter? If so, being proactive about taking care of your smile can help. Below are 5 useful tips from your dentist that can help you protect your mouth while you’re waiting for spring to arrive.

1. Keep Your Lips Moisturized

The skin on your lips is very delicate and can be dried out easily when exposed to cold weather. To protect your lips from becoming chapped, get in the habit of applying lip balm every day. Make sure you choose a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher for the best possible protection. Another step you can take to keep your lips from drying out is to use a humidifier to add moisture to your home.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Cold air tends to be drier than warm air. As such, the air you breathe during the winter could potentially dry out your mouth. You can compensate by drinking more water throughout the day; doing so will also help keep your lips moist. At the same time, you should stay away from caffeine and anything else that could cause dehydration.

3. Pick Up Toothpaste Designed for Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth often contract when exposed to the cold temperatures of winter. When the enamel protecting your teeth contracts, small cracks may form, exposing the more sensitive dentin layer underneath. As a result, you may notice some discomfort in your mouth throughout the winter months.

Mild sensitivity can typically be managed with special kinds of toothpaste. Look for brands containing ingredients that help strengthen enamel, such as arginine, potassium nitrate, and fluoride. If you’re not sure what kind of toothpaste is right for you, talk to your dentist; they’re sure to have a few suggestions.

4. Try to Stay as Warm as Possible

Cold weather can cause the muscles and joints in your jaw to tense up. If you’re already suffering from a TMJ disorder, this can make your symptoms worse. It’s therefore in your best interest to keep yourself warm by putting on a sweater, wearing a jacket or a scarf whenever you go outside, or even just cozying up under a blanket. Take whatever steps you can to keep your jaw muscles from getting too cold.

5. Make an Appointment with Your Dentist if You Notice Anything Wrong

Sometimes problems can arise in your mouth despite your best efforts. If you see signs of any serious dental issues – such as cavities that might have formed as a result of dry mouth – call your dentist right away. Having the small problems treated early can go a long way toward helping you avoid more severe complications.

About the Author

Dr. Bob Koenitzer was born in Petaluma, and he’s proud to be able to bring high-quality dentistry to his childhood home. He has been voted Best Dentist in Petaluma for six years in a row, and he has kept up with the latest advancements in dentistry so that he can continue to offer his patients the comfortable, effective care their smiles need. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Koenitzer this winter, visit his website or call (707) 766-6666.

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