Hi I'm Dr. Scott Westford DDS. I am a family dentist based in Everett. Over the years, I get asked this question a lot: "What extra steps do I need to take to improve my dental health in the winter months."
In addition to the cold weather, there are many holidays in winter. So the food and drinks can present a challenge to your dental health. Winter is coming, and with it comes cold temperatures, dry air and lots of time spent indoors. It's important to take care of your teeth and gums during the winter months to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Here are some tips for maintaining good oral health this winter:
Brush your teeth regularly. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. This can be done before breakfast and before bedtime, or after meals throughout the day. If you're eating a meal that contains sugar, brush your teeth right away to prevent the sugars from sticking to your teeth.
Floss daily. Flossing removes plaque that is stuck between teeth where most people cannot reach with their toothbrush alone.
Use fluoride toothpaste every day. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, preventing cavities from forming on your teeth. It also reduces the risk of gum disease by making it less likely that bacteria will stick to your teeth when you brush them with fluoride toothpaste every day. Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash regularly. Fluoride helps strengthen enamel against decay by making it more resistant to acids produced by bacteria when they eat sugars in your mouth (from foods like candy or soda). It also reduces plaque buildup on teeth by preventing bacteria from sticking to the surface of teeth where they could cause damage through bacterial acid production over time (called demineralization).
Eat a healthy diet. A well-balanced diet will provide you with the nutrients needed for good oral health. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals, along with whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid sugary snacks and other junk food.
Drink plenty of water. It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but especially during the winter months when temperatures drop and humidity levels fall. If you're not sure how much water you should drink each day, consult your dentist or doctor for advice — especially if you're taking medications that could interfere with fluid balance in your body (such as diuretics).
If you have additional questions or would like to seek dental treatment, I encourage you to give my office a call. Our friendly staff members will be glad to assist you!