• November 25, 2015

Winter is here and guess what? We haven’t even hit the coldest of it in the Chicago area! Every season brings health risks with it and many of those health risks affect your teeth as well. Winter is no different but it’s also surprising to learn that lots of patients don’t know about the winter risks to your oral health!

We want to take the time to tell you about some of the most dangerous winter oral health conditions so that you can be safe in the coming months. At Shorewood Family Dental Care we want you to keep your teeth a lifetime and knowing what to do in the cold is an important part!

Protecting Teeth Is Important!

In Shorewood and Chicago we’re passionate about our sports and winter means hockey season is upon us. Just like any other hard-hitting full contact sport hockey requires a lot of protection from head to toe. That includes your teeth!

We can craft custom fit mouthguards that provide a level of protection you can’t get from store bought boil-and-bite kits. A good fit is essential to keeping your mouth sturdy and secure when you’re out on the ice, hitting the slopes, or doing any other winter activity with a chance of injury. Our mouthguards are comfortable, easy to wear, and incredibly protective!

Stay Hydrated!

When it’s hot out you probably don’t have a problem staying hydrated. Nothing cools you off like a glass of ice cold water but during the winter time it’s a bit harder to keep up! Lots of people – children especially – tend to get a bit dehydrated during the winter. Dehydration is actually a great way to speed up the development of cavities so make sure you’re drinking water!

You know that taste you get in your mouth when it’s dry? That’s plaque bacteria spreading and sticking to your teeth. Hydration keeps your mouth moist and the bacteria in check but dry mouth can’t do that! If you’ve recently eaten sugar you’re in an even worse position – that bacteria loves sugar and turns it into tooth-eating acid!

Teeth + Cold = Trouble

Your teeth are tough but they aren’t indestructible. Did you know that cold air can actually cause them a lot of stress? The quick temperature changes that come with breathing through your mouth in the winter can cause your teeth to contract and when you close your mouth the warmth causes them to quickly expand. Not a good combination if it’s happening repeatedly!

Exposure to the cold winter air can actually weaken your teeth and cause microfractures: damage so small you can’t see it but you’ll definitely feel it! Microfractures can lead to pain, sensitivity, and even tooth decay. If you’re noticing a lot of temperature sensitivity or soreness in your teeth it’s time to give our Shorewood dentist office a call!

Watch The Sugar!

Winter also brings the holidays with it and that’s a time of year where rich, sugary food is everywhere. Enjoying the holidays safely doesn’t mean completely eliminating sugar from your diet but it definitely means keeping your eating habits in check! Plaque bacteria metabolizes sugar into acid that causes tooth decay so don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk!

Like we mentioned earlier, winter is also a prime time for getting dehydrated without noticing it. A dry mouth means sugar hangs around, so if you’re eating cookies and drinking sugary drinks like hot cocoa you’re really putting your teeth in danger!

Give Your Smile An Edge This Winter

Regular dental care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy no matter the season. If we haven’t seen you in a while there’s no better time than now to make an appointment for a dental check-up! Our Shorewood dentist office is ready to help you keep your smile healthy and happy in the cold of winter and the heat of summer – we’re just a phone call away!

You can reach us by calling 815-768-1615 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!