Spring – the season of renewal, fresh blooms, and a noticeable shift in the weather. As flowers start to bud and the world embraces a new beginning, we often forget to address another aspect of our health – our oral health. Have you ever considered how the changing seasons, particularly spring, can impact your oral health? Let’s delve deeper into this topic.
Allergies & Oral Health
Spring is synonymous with blossoms and, for many, allergies. Pollen count increases during this season, which leads to allergic reactions. Common symptoms one may experience are runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes. However, there’s another lesser-known symptom: dry mouth.
Dry mouth occurs when there’s a reduced saliva flow. Saliva is crucial in neutralising the acids bacteria produce and washing away food particles. Without adequate saliva, there’s a higher risk of gum disease, tooth decay and other oral issues. Allergy medicines can also cause dry mouth as a side effect. It’s essential to stay hydrated, chew sugar-free gum, or consider using a mouthwash designed for dry mouth to counteract this.
Spring Sports & Dental Safety
The warmth of spring encourages outdoor activities and sports. Hockey, netball, rugby, and many other recreational activities see a surge in participation. While these activities are great for overall health, they can pose risks to your teeth and mouth.
Wearing a mouthguard is the best preventive measure. A blow to the face can cause chipped or broken teeth, injuries to the lips and tongue, fractured jaw, or even tooth loss. A custom-made mouthguard from your dentist can provide the best protection.
Springtime Sweets & Beverages
Sugary treats and acidic beverages can accompany spring parties, picnics and braais. Lemonades, fruit punches, and sodas can be refreshing but can also erode the enamel, leading to sensitivity and cavities.
Limiting these drinks or choosing water instead can protect your teeth. If you indulge occasionally, use a straw to minimise the contact of the liquid with your teeth. Always wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, especially after consuming acidic foods or drinks, to prevent further enamel wear.
Spring Cleaning Your Oral Care Routine
Spring cleaning isn’t just limited to your home. It’s the perfect time to evaluate and refresh your oral care routine. Here are some spring cleaning tips for your oral health:
- Change your toothbrush: If the bristles are frayed, or you’ve used it for more than 3-4 months, it’s time for a new one.
- Replenish your mouthwash and floss: Check the expiry dates and ensure you’re stocked up.
- Dental check-up: Schedule your biannual check-up. A professional cleaning improves the plaque and tartar build-up that regular brushing might miss.
- Evaluate your oral care products: Ensure you’re using fluoride toothpaste, and consider investing in an electric toothbrush if you haven’t already.
Increased Exposure to UV Rays
Longer days mean more time under the sun. While sunbathing can be enjoyable, prolonged exposure can potentially increase the risk of lip cancer. Protect your lips by putting on lip balm with SPF.
Spring offers a fresh start in many ways. By understanding the season’s unique challenges, you can ensure your oral health stays in top shape. Embrace the season and enjoy its beauty, but remember to give your teeth and mouth the care they deserve.
If you’re having trouble with your oral health this season, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our experienced and friendly staff will readily assist you with your oral concerns.