Unfortunately, the colder weather is headed our way. Are you prepared to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums safe as we see an increase in consumption of holiday treats, harsher weather, and winter sports? Keep reading to find out steps to take to protect your oral health!
1- Limiting Sweets
Be mindful of just how much sugar you are exposing your pearly whites to on a daily basis. All the excess treats over the holidays not only feed your sweet tooth but also feed cavity-causing oral bacteria!
We recommend limiting consumption of these sugary treats:
–Holiday candies: candy canes, fudge, chocolate, peppermint bark, truffles
-Chewy, sticky candy: caramels, toffee, jellybeans, caramel apple suckers
-Dried fruit: Trail mix, raisins, prunes, figs, apricots
-Alcohol: High in sugar AND dries out your mouth!
We are not saying to avoid sugar altogether! Just be conscious and limit your consumption. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth post indulgence to clear sugary residue.
*Hydration is key! Staying hydrated provides a healthier oral environment, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
When being exposed to harsher weather we can find ourselves experiencing cold and canker sore breakouts from the winter sun and stress is another mouth sore trigger as well (hello holidays!). Mouth sores can show up on the lips and mouth as red, fluid-filled blisters, or as ulcers found in areas like your cheeks, gums, tongue, soft palate and can be accompanied by pain.
Canker sores can also arise from overindulgence in winter treats if the acid is high (cider, spicy treats).
Staying well-rested and eating a nutritional diet with vitamins and minerals help build your immune system. This is important because weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to infections!
Tip: Treat oral sores and help speed up the recovery process by gargling with salt water. There are also over-the-counter medications to help with pain.
3- Oral Protection During Sports
It is so important to protect your beautiful smile as you participate in winter sports! Sports injuries can result in cracked, broken or knocked-out teeth, lacerations, and even jaw injury. The best protection for your mouth and teeth is to wear an athletic guard (along with your helmet of course) during sporting activities.
A common complaint heard is that the athletic guard is uncomfortable, which is often true for drugstores and over-the-counter bite guards! However, a customized guard from the dentist will surely fit properly and comfortably in the mouth while letting you breathe with ease.
Winter is the most wonderful time of the year! We want you to enjoy the holiday season, while also taking great care of your teeth. Please call our Royal Oaks Smiles team in Royal Oaks, MI at 248-548-1440 if you have any questions about protecting your smile!