5 winter tips for healthy teeth and gums

(BPT) - Winter is here — it’s time to layer on the warm clothes and stock up on the cold and flu essentials that keep you healthy during the colder months. But as you focus on winter wellness, it’s important to remember how oral care affects your overall health.

“Your mouth is the gateway to your digestive and respiratory tracts, so some of the bacteria that accumulates in your mouth may cause illness if you don’t take care of your teeth and gums,” says ARM & HAMMERTM Toothpaste expert Dr. Derek Wallin, DDS.

Dr. Wallin shares his expert tips for maintaining proper oral care throughout the winter months:

1) Stock up on the essentials

The end of the year often involves house guests and lots of quality time with loved ones. Whether your family and friends are staying for a day or two, a great way to take care of them is to make sure you are stocked up on health items. While you’re picking up extra soap or shampoo, don’t forget floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste — your guests will thank you!

2) Be proactive after treating yourself

Beware of what you eat and drink even after the holidays have passed. The carbohydrates in pies, cookies, rolls and biscuits contribute to an overall acidic environment in your mouth, making teeth soft. These plaque acids wear down enamel and cause teeth to lose vital minerals and leave you prone to cavities. I recommend ARM & HAMMER Toothpastes because they carry the natural ingredient baking soda, which rapidly neutralizes the acidity and restores a more natural, balanced pH in your mouth to keep your teeth strong.

3) Don’t sleep on oral care

It’s easy to let certain things fall by the wayside when it's cold outside. You might want to stay cozy in bed for a lazy weekend or lose track of your routine with a packed calendar of festivities. But no matter how tired you are, remember to prioritize your oral care routine. Floss and brush your teeth before you fall asleep; you will thank yourself in the morning.

4) Remove plaque … like a BOSS

I take great pride in knowing how to remove plaque, and even greater pride when my patients know how to do it, too. Think about brushing your teeth like sweeping under a cabinet. Allow the brush bristles to sweep under the gum line and also allow your toothpaste to deeply penetrate those hard-to-reach areas. It’s all about combining proper technique with an effective toothpaste.

5) Add whitening power

Remember, dark-colored foods stain teeth. A few of these culprits include pumpkin-spiced lattes (or coffee in general), red wine, beets and dark-colored berries, like cherries and blueberries. An effective whitening toothpaste like ARM & HAMMER Advance White — formulated with refined dental grade baking soda and peroxide to brighten and target tough set-in stains — is a great trick to keep your teeth shining all year long.

Oral care is a big part of keeping yourself healthy in the winter, so follow these tips to stay well and maintain a clean, beautiful smile. Visit ArmandHammer.com for more information.

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