This has been a brutal winter for New Haven, and at Chapel Street Dental, we want to make sure our patients understand how to care for their mouths in cold weather. The health of the lips and other soft oral tissues are connected to dental health, so we’ve made this guide on how to avoid chapping and dryness.
One of the most important things to know is that wetting the lips causes them to dry out faster as the moisture evaporates. Long, hot showers will cause them to crack more easily and tucking them under the teeth will irritate them. If done as a habit, it could also cause the teeth to become misaligned. Lip balm works by sealing in moisture, but some fragrances and common ingredients, such as menthol, cause inflammation in some people, so it is a good idea to check the label and switch to a different product at the first sign of redness or pain.
Cold air contains less moisture, so a person who suffers from dry mouth will have worse problems in the winter. Because dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and other oral infections, this is something that needs to be taken care of. Throat moisturizers can provide protection, as can humidifiers placed in bedrooms, offices, or other places where people have to spend long periods.