As winter approaches it’s important to pay particular attention to your oral hygiene. Winter’s dropping temperatures, chilling wind and dry air can not only wreak havoc on your skin, but it can also exacerbate common dental problems. Being mindful of potential oral health woes below, along with practicing good oral hygiene, will help you keep a healthy mouth through the harsh winter.
Illnesses and other health issues tend to run rampant during the colder months. You can help yourself stay ahead of these issues by taking care of your mouth and maintaining clean teeth. Here are some great ways to stay on top of your oral hygiene this winter.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is essential to your health, regardless of the season. Water helps to flush out your system and keep you hydrated. During the winter, many people suffer from dry mouth because of the cold and dry climate. Even if you've never had dry mouth before, you could experience some form of it during winter.
When your mouth is dry, you are also not producing as much saliva, which is necessary to wash away food debris and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Make sure you are conscious of your water intake and you should consider limiting your caffeine, since caffeine can cause dehydration. Chewing sugarless gum is another way that you can keep moisture in your mouth and avoid complications from having a dry mouth.
Drink water to help relieve its effects and to prevent bacteria from sitting in your mouth throughout the day.
Use Chapstick and Moisturizer
Dental hygiene includes all aspects of your mouth, so don't forget to care for your lips and skin. The winter sees a vast increase in the number of chapped lips and cold sores people experience. You can prevent these issues by using Chapstick on your lips and moisturizer on your face. These products serve as a layer of defense against the cold and dry elements, preventing you from drying out. If left unchecked, chapped lips and cold sores can eventually lead to illness and infection, so be proactive and take care of yourself.
Also called fever blisters, cold sores are a common viral infection. They are tiny, and at times painful, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a scab forms that can last several days. Cold sores usually heal in two to three weeks without leaving a scar. To help minimize cold sore breakouts in winter weather, keep your lips and the area around your mouth moisturized and use lip balm.
If you feel a cold sore coming on, treat it as soon as possible with over-the-counter medications or talk with your doctor about treatment options. Take steps to reduce the chance of getting a cold sore by washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your mouth and don’t share drinks, food, towels, or utensils with anyone who might have a cold sore.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Not only will clean hands help keep cold sores away, washing your hands frequently helps you avoid Covid 19, the flu and other colds that spread quickly between people you are in contact with.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Washing your hands is self-explanatory to most, but there are a few steps like numbers 3 and 7 might be a friendly reminder for you.
1.Wet your hands with clean — preferably running — water.
2.Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of your hands and wrists.
3.Lather and rub your hands together briskly and thoroughly. Make sure to scrub all surfaces of your hands, fingertips, fingernails, and wrists.
4. Scrub your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds.
5.Rinse your hands and wrists under clean — preferably running — water.
6.Dry your hands and wrists with a clean towel or let them air-dry.
7.Use a towel to turn off the faucet.
Brush Your Teeth
Yes, brushing your teeth is important no matter what the time of year is. However, during the winter it can be more difficult for your body to fight off illnesses. The cold weakens your immune system, which means you're more susceptible to bacterial infections if you let the bacteria in your mouth go unchecked. Brushing your teeth and flossing removes this bacteria. Keeping plaque in check isn’t hard with the right tools. Brushing with a quality dental gel like LIVFRESH ensures an almost professional cleaning every day. So, be sure to brush twice a day every day, as recommended by The American Dental Association. Keeping clean teeth means a healthy, clean mouth and a healthy you.
This winter, we suggest you include these tips as part of your overall health care routine to avoid catching a cold.