With fall here on an ever-so-brief stopover on our way to winter, even here in San Diego temperatures are dropping a bit - and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to winterize your oral health routine. Here’s how:
The No. 1 way to protect your skin and mouth when temperatures drop is to drink plenty of water. Sure, you aren’t sweating it out as quickly as you might be in the summer sun, but cooler breezes can dry out your skin and your mouth, causing chapped lips and dry mouth. Dry mouth may not seem like a big deal, but it can actually up your risk of all kinds of nasty things like bad breath and cavities, just to name a few.
Apply (and Reapply) Moisturizer
Keeping your lips hydrated with lip balm is an excellent way to not only keep your smile looking beautiful, but also keep your mouth healthy. That’s because when you have dry, chapped lips that may bleed or peel, you are opening your mouth up to the risk of infection, and if you already have an infection, you're putting your lips at risk, too.
Beware of Canker Sores
They say canker sores are more common in the winter because people eat acidic foods more frequently at holiday celebrations, and due to stress. (Stress? During the holidays? No way!) If you find yourself getting more canker sores, remember to chew your food slowly and be cognizant of them so you don’t bite them. To help encourage healing, rinse out your mouth with warm saltwater after meals. This will help keep your canker sores clean and reduce your risk of infection.
Put Your Guard Up
With shopping, extra traffic and other holiday stress piling up, don’t forget your mouth guard. If you find yourself sitting in traffic grinding your teeth, speak to Dr. Abelar about being fitted for a custom bite guard. Play hockey or another contact sport? Speak to Dr. Abelar about being fitted for a custom mouth guard. If you wear braces, speak to Dr. Abelar about your options for protecting your teeth while in orthodontic treatment. Don’t assume clear aligner trays are enough to protect against impact, because they’re not!
To learn more about winterizing your oral health routine, or to schedule an exam, please call Dr. Abelar’s office at 858-256-4035.