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Did you know that your teeth need additional care during the winter? If you didn’t, you may be setting yourself up for some dental problems once the weather turns cold. As soon as the temperatures dip, your teeth become susceptible to a wide variety of problems, including cracks and tooth sensitivity. Here are six steps you can take to protect your teeth this winter.

1. Schedule a Winter Dental Appointment

Winter weather wreaks havoc on your teeth, especially if you’re not prepared for the changes that occur. The best way you can protect your teeth is to start winter with a trip to the dentist. Cold weather causes your teeth to expand, which can lead to the development of small cracks in the enamel. If the cracks aren’t repaired quickly, they could expand and cause significant damage to your enamel.

2. Change the Way You Brush Your Teeth

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you need to change the way you brush your teeth during the winter. First, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your delicate enamel. Second, switch to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Third, brush your teeth twice a day to remove cavity-causing plaque. If you’re in the habit of brushing your teeth right after a meal, wait a few minutes instead. By waiting just a few more minutes, you can avoid damaging your enamel.

3. Pay Attention to Your Gums

Winter is synonymous with the cold and flu season. Unfortunately, the same germs that make you sick each winter are the same ones that can lead to gum infections. This is particularly true if your gums are already susceptible to gum disease.

During the winter, you need to pay close attention to your gums. First, watch for signs of redness and inflammation. Second, keep your hands and fingers away from your mouth. Third, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash at least twice a day.

4. Invest in the Proper Mouth Guard

If you’re involved in any type of outdoor winter sports, you need to invest in a proper mouth guard. A good mouth guard will protect your teeth against the brutal cold, but it will also protect your teeth from injuries. To receive the maximum protection, your dentist should fit you with a custom mouth guard. The mouth guards you can purchase over-the-counter are usually designed to be one-size-fits-all. However, your custom mouth guard is designed to fit your specific oral measurements.

5. Keep Your Neck and Face Warm

When you get dressed for the day, don’t forget to protect your neck and face. Winter scarves do more than just keep your neck warm. They also protect your teeth and jaw. When your neck and face are exposed to the cold weather, your gums, teeth and jawbone pay the price. Wear a scarf during the winter to stop cold weather-related dental problems. If you typically breathe through your mouth, a heavy scarf can also protect your throat from winter chills.

6. Drink More Plain Water

If you replace your water with coffee, tea and hot cocoa during the winter, you’re harming your teeth. There are several reasons for the increased risk to your teeth. First, if you’re not drinking clear water during the winter, your body may become dehydrated. Second, once you’re dehydrated, your mouth stops the production of saliva.

Third, the lack of saliva creates the perfect environment for bacteria growth. Finally, the increased sugar and the increased bacteria growth encourages tooth decay. To protect your teeth, drink plenty of plain water during the winter.

Don’t let winter weather wreak havoc on your teeth. Use the tips provided here to protect your teeth from the cold. For other tips on how to protect your teeth this winter, contact us at Family First Dentistry LLC to schedule an appointment right away.