How Does the Cold Weather Affect Your Teeth?

When most people think of cold weather and their health, they think of sniffles, sore throats, and the flu. Although all of these things do happen more during the winter months, cold weather can affect your dental health, as well. When cold temperatures hit, these are some of the reasons you may need to seek dental care in Lake Stevens, WA .

Sensitive Teeth

If you have tooth sensitivity, your symptoms may become worse in the winter. Simply taking a deep breath of cold air could trigger a shock of pain, and sipping on hot drinks can make it worse. Tooth sensitivity occurs when you have exposed dentin, which occurs as the result of erosion and plaque and tartar buildup, so stick to a careful dental hygiene routine and limit your consumption of acidic drinks to prevent further sensitivity from developing. Outside in cold temperatures, make an effort to breathe through your nose, so your teeth aren’t exposed to cold air. Try drinking coffee and other hot drinks through a straw, so that your teeth come into less contact with the liquid.

Dry Mouth

Because colds are so common during winter, cases of dry mouth also increase. When you have a cold, your nasal passages can become congested. In response, you tend to breathe through your mouth more, which in turn causes your mouth to dry out. Sip water and chew on sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist during the cold weather months, and consider cutting your coffee habit, since caffeine will further dry out your mouth. If your dry mouth is persistent or it happens year round, have a dental checkup to find out if there is an underlying cause. A dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities, so talk to your dentist to find a solution.

Low Levels of Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping teeth healthy. Because sun exposure is a key part in maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D, your body’s supply may not be adequate during winter, when you spend more time indoors. Ask your dentist if you should consider taking a supplement to protect your teeth. Drinking more milk and eating more fatty fish can also help.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

When you visit your dental office in Lake Stevens, WA and you have wisdom teeth, chances are that your dentist will recommend removing them. Most people have their wisdom teeth removed, so why do we have them in the first place?

Watch this video for insight into the evolution of wisdom teeth. These teeth are generally thought to be leftovers from an early stage of evolution that have not gone away yet. Although some people never get any wisdom teeth at all, those who do often experience problems with them. Since there is no advantage to having wisdom teeth, part of dental care today usually involves extracting them. Getting rid of wisdom teeth prevents pain, infections, and other complications that they usually cause.

Choosing Dental Implants for a Beautiful Smile

If you have missing teeth, your dentist will discuss your restoration options with you. For many people, there is a clear choice—dental implants. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and are often preferred by patients over other forms of false teeth, like dentures. Are you considering dental implants in Lake Stevens, WA ? Here are some of the advantages of using these restoration options to restore your smile.

Dental implants are rooted into your jaw using a post that acts as an artificial tooth root. As such, they fit securely and mimic your natural teeth. You can brush and floss them as normal, and you don’t have to make changes to your diet, as you do with dentures. Dental implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth, like bridges, so they don’t put any of your remaining natural teeth at risk, and because they are anchored in your jawbone, they help to prevent the bone loss that can occur with dentures.

What to Do Before and After Laser Teeth Whitening

Laser teeth whitening can make your smile look brighter and help you look younger. This cosmetic dentistry treatment is easy, fast, and effective, even if you have stubborn, deep stains. To get the most from your teeth whitening treatment in Lake Stevens, WA , it helps to pay attention to the pre- and post-treatment care plan recommended by your dentist. Here are some of the things you can do to have a successful teeth whitening experience.

Before Laser Teeth Whitening

Before a teeth whitening treatment, the focus is on protecting your teeth and gums as much as possible, to reduce the chances of post-treatment sensitivity. The night before and the morning of your treatment, brush your teeth very gently, taking care to avoid your gums as much as possible. This will reduce the chances of developing abrasions on the gum line. If you have an electric toothbrush, ask your dentist if you should switch to a manual brush right before your treatment to further reduce abrasions. Don’t floss, as you could cut your gums, which will cause discomfort after your treatment. Using your regular mouthwash is fine. There is no need to avoid food before your teeth whitening treatment. In fact, you won’t be able to eat for a few hours after your appointment, so have a meal before that will keep you full.

After Laser Teeth Whitening

When your teeth whitening session is complete, you will need to restrict your diet to clear liquids for at least two hours. After that time has passed, you can eat any kind of white food that won’t stain your teeth, such as chicken, pasta, and potatoes. An easy way to decide if you can have a particular food is to consider if it would stain a white shirt. If it would, then you should avoid it. For the first two days after your treatment, brush your teeth gently with white toothpaste that does not contain whitening ingredients or baking soda. After the first 48 hours, you can resume your normal diet, but keep in mind that new staining can occur as you consume red wine, coffee, and other dark-colored foods and beverages.