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5 Reasons Why Your Teeth Might Be Hurting More This Winter

Winter in Sydney

Although it's not everyone's favourite season, winter in Sydney can be great for lots of reasons. But, as you may have noticed over the years, it's not always that great for your teeth. Colder weather often brings along with it tooth pain and especially tooth sensitivity, even if at your last dental check up your teeth got a relatively good bill of health. 

The bad news is that the winter weather can indeed affect your teeth. The good news is that there are things you can do to minimise the damage - and pain - that the colder months can cause. With that in mind here's a look at the top five reasons why your teeth might give you extra problems this winter and what you can do about it. 

1. Overly Aggressive Brushing

Yes, you have been told, correctly, since you were a kid that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. But the operative word here is brush, not scrub away like a maniac. If you brush your teeth too hard, or with a very stiff bristled toothbrush, you may begin stripping away enamel as well as plaque, leaving the softer inner part of your tooth exposed to the elements, something you'll feel a lot more when the air hitting them is cold.

When brushing your teeth take you time and use gentle strokes, as doing so will not only shield your smile from winter sensitivity but protect them from damage in general as well. 

2. Winter Whitening Overkill

Winter in Sydney offers up all kinds of fun festivals and events that are a great excuse to get out and party. And if you are going to party, you want to look your best and dazzle everyone with a stellar smile. Those tempting home whitening kits at the chemists promise they can do that, but if you are considering using one this winter you'll need to take care.

Although home teeth whitening kits can have some effect, they often contain overly harsh chemicals that eat away at the enamel of the teeth, weakening them and making them more sensitive. A better way to go is to head to the dentist to discuss getting a professional whitening treatment that will look better, last longer and not leave lasting damage behind. 

3. Your Hot Drink Habit

When winter comes we all tend to crave a few more hot drinks, especially if we're outdoors, something that's really only natural. This can have a downside for your teeth though, even if your tummy's warm and happy. The problem is that if your drink is hot - and the air is cold - the temperature difference can be quite a shock for your teeth and cause pain that rather sharp and stabby. To help prevent this, sip your hot chocolate - or whatever your preferred winter beverage option might be - slowly and try to stick to drinking it warm rather than boiling hot. 

4. Colds and Flus

Not all winter tooth pain is directly related to your teeth. If you have a cold, the flu, or a sinus infection, all common winter ailments, then tooth pain may be just one of the nasty symptoms that come along with it. Often if your nose is all stuffed up your sinuses are all inflamed and that can put pressure on your teeth, especially those at the front. On this one there's not too much you can do, except practice good hygiene and take some extra Vitamin C to try to ward off winter colds and flus altogether. 

5. Thermal Stress

Did you know that your teeth expand and contract in reaction to the weather in the same way as many other materials? It's only very slight, but it can cause pain, especially if you already have sensitive teeth.

Don't stress. Some winter tooth pain is temporary and goes away on its own, often when you get back to your nice warm house after a day in the cold. 

However, if the pain is particularly bad, or lingers longer than a day or so it's a good idea to make an appointment to see the dentist to make sure something else - like decay or gum disease - is the problem, and not the winter weather after all. 

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