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Watching the snow fall, ice skating and warming up by the fire are some of the best parts of winter. But we’ve all experienced some of the downsides of wintertime, including how the cold can affect your body. Cold weather can be harsh not just on your skin, but on your teeth, too.
But this winter, you have more to smile about. We’re sharing tips on how to manage winter’s effects on your oral health.
Some people experience sensitivity when eating cold foods all year, no matter how chilly it is outside. In the wintertime, though, some people experience cold sensitivity more often. Cold air can affect teeth the same way cold food or drinks do.
This winter, ask your dentist what they’d recommend for sensitive teeth. They may recommend using a tooth-sensitive toothpaste, or other treatment.
Additionally, if you experience teeth sensitivity, be sure to take extra precautions in order to preserve your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel can wear away in people with sensitive teeth, so be sure to brush properly and avoid irritating and acidic foods or drinks, like soda or candy.
Have your lips ever gotten so chapped you’ve developed a canker sore? Harsh winter winds can make it worse. These sores often go away on their own, but sometimes, sores inside the mouth can represent a more serious condition — including oral cancer. It’s important to visit your dentist if you develop any long-lasting sores, or if your sore is accompanied by other symptoms such as a high fever.
Dehydration isn’t just something to worry about in the summer. During the winter, your body needs proper hydration, too. When you are well-hydrated, you produce more saliva, which helps protect your teeth against cavities. But if you’re spending a lot of time outside, your sweat can turn to water vapor instead of hydrating you.
Whether you live in a colder climate year-round or are traveling to a high-altitude location this winter, be sure to drink plenty of water. Chewing sugarless gum may also help prevent tooth decay. If you find yourself drinking more warm drinks like coffee or cocoa in the wintertime, make sure you’re drinking enough water to balance out the dehydrating effects of caffeine. Instead, opt for drinking hot water with some lemon or lime, or caffeine-free tea.
Many families’ favorite winter activities are skiing, snowboarding and sledding. But sometimes, accidents happen, and you or a family member may experience an oral health injury, like breaking or losing a tooth.
If you’re proactive, you’ll know what to do if such an accident happens. Be sure to familiarize yourself with our advice for what to do in a dental emergency. If you follow the right steps, you may save a tooth, as well as avoid future issues and costs stemming from a winter injury.
The best way to protect your oral health this winter is to make a dentist appointment. If you’re a member of one of TruAssure’s individual and family dental plans, you know that we provide three cleanings per year, so you can still get two more cleanings in the spring, summer or fall. If you’re searching for a new plan, learn more about TruAssure’s Max Savings, Choice and Choice Plus plans* for individuals and families so you can find coverage that best fits you and your family’s needs.
Winter’s effects on oral health can impact everyone differently, so it’s important to consult your dentist if you notice anything different about your teeth or gums. And, be sure to maintain a proper oral health care routine, including brushing twice and flossing once daily.
*All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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* All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the DenteMax, United Concordia and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans for both group and individual members are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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