With the extremely low temperatures we are experiencing here in the Midwest, let’s explore how these chilly conditions can affect our dental health.
Ever experienced a toothache during the cold or heat? 123dentist.com explains why:
Our teeth expand and contract as a response to extreme heat and cold. As a result, cracks in our teeth can form overtime. This can expose the tiny tubes behind our enamel.
Although this weather-induced sensitivity can occur regardless of dental hygiene, positive dental hygiene can leave you less-vulnerable to environmental effects, such as extreme weather.
What we can do to maintain proper oral hygiene? WebMD outlines a helpful checklist for healthy oral care:
1. Brush teeth and gums twice a day (at a minimum) for two to three minutes. If possible, brushing teeth 30 minutes to an hour after every meal is ideal for oral health.
2. Floss once every day. Be sure you are getting between each tooth and behind your back teeth.
3. Rinse every day using a mouthwash that contains fluoride. This can be done before or after brushing. However, make sure you swish throughout your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds.
4. Eat well and avoid sugary snacks. Starchy foods (like potato chips) should also be avoided. If you choose to fuel your body with a balanced diet, your teeth will thank you.
5. Regular dental visits provide both professional check-ups and cleanings. Visits are recommended every six months and at any time in between this, if you experience pain in your teeth or mouth or any bleeding or swollen in your gums.
So, while you are tucked beneath layers and layers of hats, coats, mittens, and scarves this winter, remember that proper dental care can go a long way to protect you from the extreme environmental conditions.