Winter Oral Health Risks: Get The Facts!

Winter is upon us and with the change in seasons comes a change in dental care risks and needs. Both you and your children enjoy different activities, foods, and day-to-day living when the weather gets cold so be sure your oral health awareness changes along with it!

At Marineland Dental Care we’ve been caring for teeth in Kennewick and surrounding communities for years. In that time we’ve come to understand a lot about oral health throughout the year and winter is just one more thing we like to help our patients learn about. Find out what you can do over the next few months to keep your teeth in tip-top condition!

Stay Hydrated

It isn’t too hard to stay hydrated in the summer months: it’s warm, you’re hot, and nothing refreshes like a cold glass of water. Once winter rolls along, however, it’s a completely different story. Without the constant heat wearing you down you might forget to drink water, and this goes double for children!

Staying hydrated is an essential part of your oral health. Plaque bacteria thrive when there’s less saliva to wash them away, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water over the next few chilly months! If your children are enjoying winter activities it’s essential that they drink water too! Children aren’t always the best at remembering this, especially when there are other more flavorful drinks available.

Be Careful With Your Teeth!

If we get one of our big snows you might think about going out sledding, skiing, or snowboarding. No matter which of these activities you plan to participate in you should be aware that they come with risks to your oral health!

You might not think of sledding as a potential mouth buster but there’s always the possibility of injury, dental or otherwise, when you’re moving at so great a speed down a snowy, icy hill! Take precautions, especially if you’re doing fast downhill activities. An athletic mouthguard can be the difference between shaking an injury of or needing expensive dental reconstruction!

Your Teeth Don’t Like The Cold

It might be surprising but the cold air of winter can actually put your teeth at risk. If you breath through your mouth naturally, due to congestion, or during physical activity your teeth can contract ever so slightly due to the cold. When you come inside or even keep your mouth closed for a while your teeth will expand again. That constant temperature change can actually damage your teeth!

Small hairline fractures, simple cracks, and other too-small-to-see damage can leave your teeth in a pretty bad state. Over time you may notice general sensitivity to temperatures both hot and cold, making eating and drinking really uncomfortable!

Our advice: keep those teeth warm and breath through your nose!

Hot Drinks: What Should You Enjoy?

What’s your favorite hot winter drink? If it’s cocoa or any other sweet, sugary drink you could be increasing your risk of cavities! Plaque bacteria in your mouth just loves sugar. When bacteria metabolizes sugar it produces acids that eat away at your enamel, leading to cavities.

If you enjoy sweet drinks and aren’t staying hydrated enough that’s a double whammy of risk! WIthout proper hydration that sugar and acid is hanging around and increasing the chances you end up with cavities.

We recommend drinking tea – it contains compounds called catechins that actually protect your teeth! Catechins actually kill bacteria and prevent them from sticking to your teeth. Just don’t add sugar to your tea – that pretty much neutralizes the benefits.

Regular Care Is Always Essential!

If you’re keeping up with your twice a year dental exams you’re probably seeing us at some point this winter. Professional dental care is an essential part of maintaining a healthy mouth because of all the preventive services we can provide! Six months is the perfect window for us to notice changes, identify potential problems, and give you advice that will keep your teeth safe for years to come.

If you haven’t been to see us at our Kennewick dentist office lately now is the perfect chance. Contact us today to request an appointment – proactive care can save your teeth and keep you healthy and happy! You can reach Marineland Dental Care by calling 509-591-0515 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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