As the temperature drops outside, many people suffer from increased tooth sensitivity and other pesky oral health issues such as mouth sores and chapped lips. Here’s how to keep your teeth and gums in peak condition during the cold winter months.
Switch to a different toothpaste brand
If you are finding that the combination of cold outdoor temperatures and hot winter drinks are causing tooth pain and sensitivity, try switching to a specialist brand of toothpaste. Desensitising toothpastes contain compounds that help block the sensation between the tooth surface and the nerve. These types of toothpastes are safe to use twice a day, and you can also rub some gently onto sensitive areas and leave it as a protective barrier. Your dentist here at Cliftonville will be happy to recommend a sensitive toothpaste and mouthwash that will work best for you.
Watch what you’re eating and drinking
Extremely hot or cold foods and drinks can exacerbate tooth sensitivity, so limiting your exposure to them can help to reduce sudden twinges. Acidic foods and drinks damage tooth enamel, which also increases sensitivity, so swapping that hot lemon toddy for warm milk or water may improve your symptoms. The festive period is always full of tempting sugary treats but try to limit your intake to reduce the risk of developing cavities and spending the New Year in the dentist’s chair!
Use a softer toothbrush
Aggressive brushing can damage tooth enamel, which is one of the major causes of sensitivity. If you’re suddenly feeling shooting pain or tenderness, try switching to a soft-bristled brush. Many electric toothbrushes are equipped with sensors that tell you whether you are pressing too hard, which may also help you adapt your brushing style. Your dental hygienist here at Cliftonville will be happy to provide you with additional brushing and flossing tips during your routine check-up.
Wear SPF lip balm
Cold winter weather can be disastrous for lips, which often become dry and cracked without preventative measures. Protect your lips by wearing a daily lip balm with at least SPF 15 and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Be vigilant about hygiene
Winter tends to reactivate the virus responsible for causing cold sores – your immune system is run down, your vitamin D intake is low, and the harsh winter weather causes lips to chap, which makes them more hospitable to the virus. You can minimise the risk of spreading infection by washing your hands frequently and not sharing personal items (such as towels, razors, or lip balm) with others. Try to avoid touching a cold sore unless you are applying medication.
To keep your teeth in top condition this winter, book a check-up appointment here at Cliftonville. We are open 6 days a week and have evening appointments available for your convenience.