Does Your Mouth Have the Winter Blues?

Does Your Mouth Have the Winter Blues?

You probably know that dropping temperatures, biting wind and a drier climate can wreak havoc on your skin. But did you know that exposure to colder weather can put you at increased risk for developing common dental problems, too? Being aware of the winter dental woes below – along with practicing good oral hygiene – can help keep your mouth clean and healthy throughout the season.


Cold Sores
These small blisters around your lips can be triggered by stress, fatigue — and cold weather. Keep your lips moisturized to help minimize cold sore breakouts, wash your hands often and try to avoid touching your mouth.


Canker Sores
Canker sores tend to peak during dry winter months and can be aggravated even more by exposure to spicy and acidic foods. Rinsing your mouth with a mixture of warm water and salt may help ease symptoms.


Chapped Lips
It’s hard to avoid exposing your mouth to wind, cold and sun while enjoying your favorite outdoor activities, but cooler weather can quickly dry the thin skin on your lips. Soothe dry, cracked lips by applying a bit of petroleum jelly, and protect lips from damaging UV rays by applying a lip balm containing SPF several times a day. In severe cases, the area around the mouth gets red and raw this is called lip lickers dermatitis.


The most important treatment of lip licker’s dermatitis is to stop licking the lips. Regular use of a bland emollient (like Vaseline or Acquaphor) is helpful. Hourly application during the day may be necessary. Parents might need to apply a liberal amount at bedtime. A short course of a topical immunomodulator (tacrolimus ointment or pimecrolimuscream) can hasten resolution of the lesion if treatment with Vaseline is not successful.


Dry Mouth
Less moisture in the air can lead to less saliva production and a feeling of dry mouth. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated and consider placing a humidifier in your home to increase moisture in the air.


Tooth Sensitivity
Breathing in cold winter air, and consuming hot or cold drinks can lead to tooth pain. To help relieve discomfort, try brushing your teeth with a toothpaste especially for sensitive teeth.


Gum Infection
Winter colds and weaker immune systems can leave your gums more vulnerable to inflammation and infection. To help keep germs away, try to avoid touching your mouth, and continue to keep up good oral hygiene habits.
Fall Season Update: Oral Allergy Syndrome

Fall Season Update: Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is also called pollen-food syndrome. It occurs when folks who are allergic to pollen eat raw fruits or veggies that have proteins similar to pollen.


This triggers a response when the food is ingested. The response tends to be limited to the mouth and can include itching, tingling, and a small amount of swelling. The symptoms usually go away a few minutes after the food is swallowed or removed from the mouth.


Some of the most common oral allergies are associated with an allergy to birch, grass and ragweed.


If you have an allergy to birch, you may find that you also have an oral allergy to apple, carrots, peaches, plums, cherries, pears, almonds and hazelnut. If you have an allergy to grasses, you may find that your mouth is itchy after eating tomatoes. And an allergy to ragweed is associated with an oral allergy to melons, zucchini, kiwi and bananas.
The Importance of Family Routines

The Importance of Family Routines

Every family needs routines. They help to organize life and keep it from becoming too chaotic. Children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent.


One of a family’s greatest challenges is to establish comfortable, effective routines, which should achieve a happy compromise between the disorder and confusion that can occur without them and the rigidity and boredom that can come with too much structure and regimentation, where children are given no choice and little flexibility.


As a parent, review the routines in your household to ensure that they accomplish what you want.


Click here for tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Sunscreen: Tips to Wear it Well

As the weather heats up, it is important to remember that sunscreen is an effective protective agent against damage from the sun’s powerful rays for all ages, genders, and skin types.
Sunscreen keeps your skin healthier in other ways as well. It protects sensitive skin against sunburn and it reduces the appearance of sun damage – discolorations and dark spots, sagging or leathery skin, and wrinkles. These protections help your skin maintain a more even skin tone overall.
Follow these basic guidelines, according to Dr. Natasha Mathias, when choosing and applying a protective product and other tips below that will help you and your family stay healthy this summer.

Sunscreen Products to Avoid:

  1. Zinc and mineral based products
  2. Titanium dioxide
  3. Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that is linked to sun sensitivity
  4. Oxybenzone, considered a hormone disruptor

Other Sunscreen Tips:

  • Plan ahead and keep sun protection handy in the car or purse or diaper bag.
  • Apply sunscreen even when kids aren’t at the pool or beach. Just a few serious sunburns can increase a kid’s risk of skin cancer later in life.
  • Keep babies under 6 months in the shade, and use hats, protective clothes, pop-up tents, and umbrellas.
  • Apply sunscreen generously 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply at least every two hours. Reapply sunscreen after sweating, getting wet, or towel drying. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet!
  • Avoid aerosol sprays, as they provide inadequate and non-uniform skin coverage, and kids can also inhale the product.