The basics of oral hygiene don't change much from season to season. Brush twice daily, floss every day, stay away from too much sugar - you've likely heard it all before. The wintertime and the holidays, however, do bring with them some unique dental health challenges that can put a damper on your smile if you're not careful.
At Westmount Dental Centre, an Edmonton family dentist, we caution our patients about oral health winter culprits such as the dry air, the proliferation of chocolates and sweets, and the tendency for people to partake in staining winter beverages. Dry winter air, with its ability to dry out the inside of your mouth, is no friend to oral health. Plaque bacteria love a dry mouth, as there is less saliva available to rinse it away and keep it from settling on teeth and gums. You can compensate for this by drinking more water in order to keep your mouth moist. Staying hydrated and drinking extra fluids will also help you out if you catch a cold! One of the ways you can remind yourself to drink more water is by having some after drinking a warm winter beverage such as hot coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. This will come with the added benefit of helping to keep your teeth from developing stains. These and other warm beverages commonly drunk in the winter can be among the most staining drinks. Following them up with a bit of water will help to rinse any remaining particles off your teeth. Brushing your teeth a couple of extra times during the day, rather than just the morning and evening, is also a good idea. Edmonton dentists particularly recommend that you try to brush your teeth after eating sweets and chocolates. Chances are that you'll be exposed to many different goodies over the holidays and, while you shouldn't completely deny yourself, you should try not to overindulge and to at least give your mouth a rinse afterwards if you don't have the time or the opportunity to brush. You should, however, wait around 30 minutes after eating anything too sour to brush your teeth. The acidity can weaken your tooth enamel, causing brushing to damage it. Last, and perhaps our most important tip, make sure you don't forget to go for a regular checkup with an Edmonton dentist this winter if you haven't already done so in the last few months. This will ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned after the holidays, and that you're made aware of any trouble spots. At Westmount Dental Centre we'll give your teeth a thorough clean, and you can also ask us whether a teeth whitening treatment might be right for you. If you've indulged in a few too many delicious coffees or hot chocolates, we can help you brighten up your smile again. To schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning or a teeth whitening in Edmonton, simply contact Westmount Dental Centre today by phone or online.