How to Protect Your Teeth This Winter

b2ap3 thumbnail Protect Winter

Cold weather can be dangerous. We all know that. Unless you live your whole life on a tropical island, you have surely felt the bite of winter. Subzero temperatures can cause frost bite, which can get serious enough to cause amputation of limbs and digits. However, hardly anyone realizes the damage cold weather can do to their teeth. What many also don’t realize is that just as there are preventative measures to protect against cold and flu, there are also a few to protect teeth from the wintery chill.

Like various other parts of the human body, our teeth expand and contract while experiencing an extreme change in temperature. In teeth, this change can cause cracks and tiny fissures to form. They are not visible in most cases and often cause no immediate health issues, but can result in sensitivity. Sometimes, that sensitivity can be great enough to affect daily life. Fortunately, there are several things we can do to protect and defend our teeth against the pain of winter sensitive teeth.

The Nose Knows

Do all your inhaling through your nose. Opening your mouth and dragging freezing cold air past your teeth can be a painful experience. Breathing through your nose whenever possible can drastically reduce the pain of sensitive teeth. Sadly, with winter's frequent congestion problems, it isn’t always possible. Even without pain or sensitivity, it's better for your teeth to breathe through your nose in cold temperatures.

Classic Cover-Up

The old stand-by move of using a scarf or zipper jacket to cover your mouth always helps stave off cold weather teeth pain. It serves as an insulation of sorts for the teeth; the air warms as it passes through the layer of clothing and isn’t quite as cold when it reaches the inside of your mouth. Continuing to breathe through your nose even with a covering like this keeps teeth extra protected.

Double Duty Toothpaste

There are many useful brands of toothpaste on the market that desensitize the teeth. They use special compounds to reduce the extent of pain due to cold weather or liquids. Hot air and beverages can also cause tooth pain. Sensitive teeth toothpaste must be used regularly, as its effects diminish with time.

Don’t Brush Too Much

No one ever expects to be told that they brush their teeth too much. Over-brushing can be detrimental to the enamel that covers and protects teeth. Brushing two to three times a day with a soft bristled brush is perfect for those with sensitive teeth.

Time for a Straw

Using a straw when drinking hot or cold liquids that hurt your teeth can reduce the pain. It moves the liquid past your teeth without touching them and getting the chance to cause pain. Even that little stick-like coffee stirrer will do in a pinch.

Taking care of your teeth properly is important all year round; the winter months, however, present a set of challenges that not everyone considers when the temperature begins to drop. These simple tips should see you through the season, but if you’re in any doubt about your oral health, or you find that you’re suddenly in pain, do make an appointment with your dentist.

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Merry Christmas!


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