Seasons in the Midwest
Here in the beautiful Midwest, we see each of the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each brings a change in weather that many enjoy. However, this change can also affect people’s emotions, skin, and even their teeth.
The Season of Spring
With springtime comes days that lengthen and temperatures that start to rise. This causes the snow that we were so used to for up to four or even five months of the year to melt, and quickly. This slush can be quite slippery, and if proper care isn’t taken while outside, people can slip and hurt themselves quite seriously. Many patients have come in with chipped or broken teeth from slipping in the poor weather conditions that are present during this seasonal transition. Spring also brings rain, and lots of it. Thousands of people feel sad or blue when it rains, and the lack of sunlight when covered by dreary, dark clouds happens frequently. Depression is common in the springtime, and the change in air pressure when a storm is on its way can cause headaches as well, dampening people’s moods further. Something that also directly affects the mood of many people are seasonal allergies, most intense during the spring.
What can I do during the spring season?
If you find yourself feeling down in the dumps because of the gloomy weather, find positive things to occupy yourself. When it becomes cloudy, whether you’re at home or at work, shut the shades right away. Make sure there are bright, happy colors around you; flowers and art are two great things to have in your home or office to brighten any day. You can also watch a funny movie, have a few friends over for some dinner and games, curl up by the fire and read a good book. If you ensure your mind is not dwelling on how sad the day looks outside, and instead focus on positive events and objects, you can beat the springtime blues. Also make sure you talk to your doctor about allergy relief. They can do an allergy test to see what you are allergic to and possibly prescribe allergy medication if over-the-counter medicine isn’t helping.
The Season of Summer
Summer is the season that can bring everyone outside to play. Warm, long, sunny days are enjoyed by everyone in the summertime, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to keep an eye out for. While you or your kids partake in outdoor sports, a quick jog, or even a walk down the block, make sure you know what the temperature is outside. When your body overheats and can’t work fast enough to cool you down, you can experience heat exhaustion, something that can be fatal especially in children, pets and the elderly. The heat of summer can also cause sluggish behavior in people, causing them to actually exercise less. Storms are frequent as well, driving people inside. Keeping up with outdoor activity is important regardless of the season, but always remember to wear a mouth guard while partaking in sports. Many people have teeth knocked loose during roughhousing or after taking a basketball or soccer ball to the mouth.
What can I do during the summer season?
Whenever you go outside during the summer months, be sure you are well hydrated. Carry water with you in the type of water bottle that is made to keep your water cool. If you have pets with you, bring a collapsible water dish that you can use to get water into their system frequently. Always take pets and children with you instead of leaving them in the car. Summer storms can bring natural disasters as well. The Midwest area doesn’t get many other than tornadoes, floods and an occasional fire, but always make sure you and your loved ones know where all exits are and you have a meeting place in case you are separated from each other during a disaster.
The Season of Autumn
The change from summer to fall can be extremely beautiful. The leaves slowly change from a vibrant green to a multitude of different shades of brown and orange and red. Many people love this time of year, although it brings cooler weather and shorter days. It is hard to feel sad during this time, especially when there are so many activities that can be done only in the fall, such as corn mazes, going to pumpkin patches, hay rides and dressing up for Halloween. However, candy handed out during trick or treating, although delicious, can bring a slew of cavities if not handled properly. Another thing to keep in mind that bobbing for apples can be dangerous for your teeth. Using just your pearly whites to catch a rather hard piece of food can bring chips and cracks galore.
What can I do during the autumn season?
Ensure all hay rides are safe and well maintained before hopping on, and avoid bobbing for apples. During Halloween, make sure your children don’t only get sweets. Many people now hand out toothbrushes (yay!), fruits and veggies, or non-edibles such as stickers or fake teeth. Always ensure whatever is given out to your kids is safe before they use or consume it. Many kids also go to bed without brushing their teeth after trick or treating due to being tired since they were up so late. Kids and adults alike should always brush their teeth after eating anything, and candy is no exception. Letting that sugar sit on teeth overnight is a recipe for cavities!
The Season of Winter
Ah, winter. This is the harshest of seasons that we endure each year. Days are at their shortest and the temperatures are continuously below freezing. We are blanketed with heavy snowfall over and over, and driving conditions tend to be on the awful side more often than not. All of this affects our moods greatly, to the point that there are even emotional conditions people suffer from only during this bleak time (S.A.D. for example). Going to work when it’s dark out and having it be dark when you leave work is greatly discouraging, making people feel like their day is over already and all they’ve done is work. Sunlight is so important to our bodies, and being stuck inside the majority of the week, and because it is always so cold that we don’t even want to go outside when we are able to means our bodies rarely gets the vitamin D and the good vibes that sunlight brings. The cold weather shocks our systems, and dries out our skin, causing chapped lips, hands, and feet. It also can cause sensitivity in your teeth if you have large restorations or gum recession. Winter brings snow, but also layers and layers of ice, which is an extreme hazard while driving or even walking. People constantly slip on ice and break bones and teeth.
What can I do during the winter season?
First off, always make sure you are safe during the winter. Driving conditions can be bad, so always ensure your car is ready by keeping up to date on your oil changes. Always check your tires and replace them if they are getting bald, and be sure to keep an extra pair of boots, gloves, coat, hat and blanket in your trunk in case you slide off the road or get stuck in a drift and you have to wait a long time before help arrives. Women should avoid fashion boots that have heels on them that causes less balance, meaning more falls on the ice. Always have good, high, weather proof boots to wear when walking to and from anywhere. Use plenty of good hand lotions to help chapped skin, and make sure you have lip balm as well. If you are having any sensitivity in your teeth, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist. Treatment can be done to help with the sensitivity, and large, failing restorations that are sensitive may need replacing.
Regardless of the Season, Always Remember to Maintain Good Oral Health
Living in the Midwest makes us fortunate to experience each of the four seasons to their fullest, and the change of each gives us just enough time to enjoy all of them equally. No matter which season it is, your body can be affected, either physically or mentally, but as long as we all are knowledgeable about the affects and know how to combat them, we can truly enjoy our springs, summers, autumns and yes, even our winters.