The winter season is upon us here in Southern California. And while that may not mean sub-zero, frigid temperatures and blizzards — it does mean wind, rain, and cool conditions. Yet even though it may be chillier outside, your body’s need for hydration is the same as it was in the summer. And a lack of proper hydration can be bad news for your oral hygiene.
How Hydration Affects Oral Health
Everyone knows we need to drink plenty of water every day to stay healthy. It’s important for good oral hygiene because water is the major component of saliva, which fights bacteria and helps neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay. Water also keeps the soft tissues of the mouth moist and healthy, and helps fight bad breath.
(RELATED: How Important is the Saliva in Your Mouth?)
Hydration Options (Besides Plain Water)
But in the middle of winter, fewer people carry around bottles of cold water for refreshment—and that’s a shame, because we need it just as much! While indoor (and outdoor) air is often drier in winter, your body continues to lose water in the same ways. And if you keep up a healthy exercise routine, you still need plenty of hydration. An ice-cold glass of water may not be as appealing in January as in July… but it’s just as important. So, perhaps, reach for a glass of water without ice!
Of course, the water you drink doesn’t have to be freezing cold to do its job. Hot tea (especially herbal tea) can be a healthy option for wintertime hydration. Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of water, plus vitamins, fiber, and many more substances that are good for your body.
Drinks to Avoid
But there are some drinks you should avoid—or at least take in moderation. Regularly drinking coffee and tea can stain your teeth, and excessive caffeine may have negative health effects. Consuming alcoholic beverages can cause dry mouth, and may increase the risk of oral cancers. And, of course, drinks that contain sugar (including soda, some juices, and many coffee and hot chocolate beverages) are linked not only to tooth decay, but to other health problems as well.
No matter the season, don’t forget to come in for regular checkups and cleanings. We can remove the sticky tartar that clings to your teeth and may cause tooth decay and other problems. We will also perform a complete dental exam, evaluate your oral health and help resolve small problems before they turn into big headaches (or toothaches). Working together, we can help you enjoy the benefits of good oral hygiene all though the year.
About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.