Maintain Optimal Dental Health All Winter Long
Remember your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. We are not all separate compartments; we are an interconnected web of many systems that work together to maintain optimal health.
This is why we have to remember that our dental health impacts our whole health. Winter is upon us and this puts some extra stress on the body including:
1. Decreased Level of Sunshine
There is a lack of sun at this time of year. The days seem to get shorter and shorter. We leave in the morning when it is dark and return home again in darkness. Therefore we don’t get much exposure to the sun which is our main source of producing vitamin D. Vitamin D is a hormone with a key responsibility of keeping our immune system strong. This lack of vitamin D can lead to a decreasing immune system. Your susceptibility to the cold and flu increases significantly. Make sure to spend some time in the sunshine! Eat foods like eggs, cod liver oil and mushrooms. Investigate a Vitamin D3 supplement to see if that is the right choice for you.
2. Decreased Water Intake
Our body is crying out for more water! The weather is feeling colder so we tend not to feel as thirsty compared to warmer weather like we had in the summer. Our body is about 60% water, so it is critical to maintain health of the entire body by providing the body with adequate water. On average we should be drinking 3 litres a day. Sub out plain water with naturally flavoured water using mint leaves or cucumber. Try drinking non-caffeinated herbal teas such as oatstraw, nettle and chamomile to bump up your water intake. One winter symptom that indicates dehydration is chapped lips. If you struggle with chapped or dry lips drink more water! Cut down on coffee and avoid licking your lips. Use a natural lip balm with ingredients such as bees wax, coconut oil, shea butter or cocoa butter to reduce your toxic load!
3. Decreased Consumption of Nutrient Dense Foods
Refined carbohydrates and other processed foods increase at this time of year. We just celebrated Thanksgiving, Halloween and now Christmas along with other holiday celebrations. We tend to jump of the wellness track and indulge a little during this time. These indulges can impair your immune system, with sugar being one of the biggest culprits in decreasing the function of your immune system. These foods also produce acid in the mouth and allow for bacteria growth leading to periodontal issues and tooth decay. Increase your intake of vegetables, healthy fats, eggs, meats, fish, nuts and seeds.
4. Decreased Levels of Relaxation
Stress can be a onetime effect on the body, but typically it is a more cumulative issue. Our bodies have a hard time adapting to stress when it becomes a chronic issue. Using essential oil such as lavender can help the body relax. Take some time for yourself to read a book, take a bubble bath or listen to some music. Stress has a whole body effect. We need to be more aware of tools we can use to better our physical and emotional well-being.
5. Decreased Level of Exercise
We tend to stay indoors when it’s too cold out. Here is the thing; nothing can make you feel more alive than a crisp winter walk. Walk for 30 minutes each day and see the benefits. Do you suffer from tooth sensitivity when exposed to the cold air? Be sure to bundle up keeping the neck, jaw and mouth warm. Breathe through your nose, especially outdoors. Perform oil pulling daily. Refer to our YouTube video at this link for instructions. Use sensitivity toothpaste that is fluoride free, SLS free and triclosan free. If the pain does not go away this could be part of a bigger problem and we recommend you to visit your dentist.