Baby it’s cold outside!

It’s that time of the year again! Winter is here and can be a magical time of the year, but we are also in the height of cold and flu season. Along with dealing with the regular cold and flu, we now have to add Covid 19 into the mix. As we have been instructed for the last 18 months, if you or your child have any symptoms of Covid 19, please take a test. And winter isn’t just about being catching the flu, the colder months can play havoc with your overall oral health from chapped lips, painful sensitive teeth, cold sores and also fractured teeth.

Your child may not be feeling their very best and it will be easy to let their oral hygiene routine fall by the wayside. To help you keep on top of your child’s oral hygiene and to beat the winter blues, we’ve put together some handy tips that will help to keep your child’s teeth in great shape all year long!


1. Drink plenty of water! Nasal congestion and mouth breathing are very common when feeling ill. This can leave your mouth very dry and hinder the dental benefits of saliva. Your mouth becomes susceptible to the bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay when you’re sick because saliva plays an integral role in controlling the bacteria in your mouth.

2. Throw away your old toothbrush. When your finally over your cold be sure to throw away your old toothbrush and replace it with a new one. If you’re using an electric toothbrush change your brush head. Doing so can help avoid falling ill again as bacteria will harbour on your old toothbrush.

3. Rinse out with warm salt water. Gargling with warm salt-water helps to reduce the harmful bacteria in your throat and the plaque in your mouth.


Be cautious of sugary medicines! Many over-the-counter medicines, cough syrups and sore throat drops are often loaded with sugar. Sore throat drops linger in your mouth as you suck on them, so be sure to find sugar-free lozenges and medicine. If your medication is not sugar-free, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse shortly after taking them.

If your child suffers from sensitive teeth, you may notice that sensitivity is even worse during winter, when the colder temperatures can increase pain and sensitivity.

To help with the pain of sensitive teeth, choose a desensitising toothpaste which is designed to protect teeth from sensitivity to extreme temperatures. This can help to minimise the heightened effect of lower temperatures on your teeth, so you can carry on eating and drinking without discomfort.

Also, did you know that chattering teeth and tight jaws can cause teeth fractures which also lead to extra sensitive teeth. The cold wind combined with any existing cracks in your child’s teeth can make teeth very uncomfortable. If your child’s teeth are super tender to bite on and you suspect a crack, let us know before it gets worse!

Getting a cold or flu in winter is very common, and we often don’t think about the effect it has on our teeth! While being unwell, we often take cough syrups, warm lemon drinks, orange juice, sugary soothers and lozenges. Not to mention stomach acid causing an issue if you get a stomach flu.

The medicines we take to ease a cold are often sugary or acidic which can promote cavities and decay. Stomach acid from vomiting or reflux can also damage the enamel on your teeth, making them weak and brittle. Finally, when we are feeling unwell we tend to neglect our teeth as its hard leave your warm bed. To fight colds and flu, encouraging your child to brush and floss their teeth daily can go a long way in fighting bacteria that can make a sore throat or a blocked nose worse!

Tip – Don’t forget – once your child is well again, throw out their old toothbrush and change to a new one as an old toothbrush can harbour nasty bacteria and viruses on it, especially when you’ve been sick!

Exposure to wind, sun, and cold temperatures can damage the delicate skin on your child’s lips, causing them to become rough and chapped.

Applying a hydrating lip balm that contains a SPF of 15 is a simple but effective way of protecting your lips – just pop some on each day. Encouraging your child to drink plenty of water will also help to keep their skin hydrated.

Also, exposure to the winter sunlight and freezing winds can lead to painful cold sore or canker sore breakouts. To help prevent mouth sores, keep the skin around your child’s mouth protected by using  an SPF of 15 or higher, apply a daily moisturiser, and washing your child’s hands regularly can help stop the spread of viral bacteria between their hands and face.


Check out some handy tips on our Tooth Sensitivity blog to deal with tooth pain during the winter months
Tooth Sensitivity

Are you looking for some ways to help boost your child’s immunity during winter and of course all year round! The team at Super Healthy Kids have put together a great list of the top ten immune system boosting foods and recipes. Check it out here!


Thanks to our wonderful Oral Health Therapist, Kay.
She works at the Werribee clinic.
If you would like to talk to her or any of our amazing team, about this or any other questions you may have, please contact us on 03 9372 8960.