As we embrace the frosty winters of Calgary, it may surprise some that it’s not just the cold air that might be affecting us. The shorter days and colder weather often lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), more commonly known as the winter blues. We may not consider it, but this seasonal shift can impact our oral health.
Understanding the link between the winter blues and oral health is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile. At Brentwood Village Dental Clinic, we’re here to help you navigate these seasonal mood changes and how they can affect your dental hygiene. Here are some practical tips for safeguarding your oral health.
Stay Motivated About Oral Hygiene
Setting a Routine
Shorter days and lack of sunlight can lead to decreased motivation, even in maintaining oral hygiene routines. Set a daily reminder to brush and floss twice a day. Consider investing in an electric toothbrush and water flosser to make the process more effective. Not only will it make your routine more effective, but it can also make it more engaging.
Vitamin D is Your Friend
Limited sun exposure due to shorter days can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Increasing your vitamin D intake will not only help boost your mood but will help with your oral health. Consider taking supplements or foods rich in this nutrient, such as fatty fish, egg yolks or fortified foods.
Be Mindful of Comfort Food Choices
The winter blues can make you crave sugary comfort food such as chocolate or starches. Although delicious, it can be detrimental to your oral health. Sugar is the number one cause of tooth decay. The bacteria that forms plaque, utilizes sugar to create an acidic environment that will dissolve the enamel of your teeth. Opt for the following healthier alternatives when the craving arises:
- Trail Mix
- Fruits (Fresh, frozen or dried)
- Sugar-free chewing gum or mints
- Greek Yogurt
- Fruit or veggie chips
We’re not saying cut sugar out completely, but remember, moderation is key!
Cold weather means dry weather, indoor heating and low humidity levels. This might lead to dry mouth, especially if you breathe through your mouth often. If this is the case, it will impact your saliva production, a natural defence against tooth decay. Your saliva naturally moves bacteria and other microbes away from your teeth and gums. A dry mouth will allow these microbes to degrade your pearly whites. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Regular Dental Check-ups
Don’t let the cold weather be an excuse to skip dental appointments. Regular check-ups are essential to catching any issues early on. It is also important not to postpone your visit if you have noticed any problems with your teeth or gums.
Regular exercise can boost overall health and mood. Exercising outside in the winter may be tough, but you can do light ones at home or even hit the gym. This will help combat the effects of SAD and stay motivated, which can indirectly benefit your oral hygiene.
The link between the winter blues and oral health is an essential aspect of our well-being that often goes unnoticed. By staying proactive, we can ensure our smiles remain bright and healthy, even during the bleakest months.
At Brentwood Village Dental Clinic, we know that taking care of your oral health is crucial, and we offer many services so you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for life. If you’re due for a dental checkup soon, don’t hesitate to contact us today.