After a warm autumn 2016, winter is finally making its presence known. The Farmer’s Almanac, that 200-year-old long-range weather prognosticator, is calling for a “teeth-chattering winter” in early 2017.
Did you know that the same drop in temperature that makes us shiver can also cause our teeth to crack? Even though our teeth are very strong, they expand and contract when faced with temperature extremes. This is known as “thermal fatigue” or “thermal stress.” People who regularly expose their teeth to severe temperature variations (like joggers, skiers, construction workers) should take extra care when outside by breathing through their noses as much as possible and/or covering their mouths with scarves that act like filters for the cold air.
Many of us experience tooth sensitivity. In fact, some findings estimate that nearly one out of every eight people suffer from sensitive teeth at some point in their lives. These people may notice increased discomfort when the temperature drops. Some “sensitive” tips for such individuals include:
• Avoid brushing your teeth too hard. Gentle brushing and flossing protect sensitive teeth while still cleaning your teeth.
• Try toothpastes that are specially formulated for sensitive teeth. Certain mouthwashes also help protect sensitive teeth and gums while fighting plaque bacteria and helping to prevent cavities.
• Keep in mind that highly acidic foods like fruit juice and wine can increase sensitive teeth issues during the cold winter months.
If your tooth sensitivity doesn’t go away after trying some of these measures, check with your Williamsburg Dental dentist to make sure there isn’t something else causing your discomfort.