5 Top Tips For Holiday-Ready Teeth!
Summer is nearly here and whilst this means holidays, BBQ’s and fun in the sun it is important not to neglect your dental routine. Here are some tips to help you look after your teeth this summer.
1) Plan ahead
If you are due or overdue for a check-up think about booking an appointment before you go away. This way the dentist can spot any problems in advance rather than you having to deal with them whist you are away.
2) Don’t forget your toothbrush
Remember to pack all of your dental products: toothbrush, toothpaste, interdental cleaning aids etc. If you use an electric toothbrush remember to pack your charger and if you wear aligners or a retainer remember to take them with you too. If you are a denture wearer it is a good idea to take a spare with you. It has been known for denture patients with stomach upsets to accidentally flush their dentures down the toilet after vomiting and not realising they had come out until it’s too late!
Holidays can mean changes to our usual routine with late nights, long lie ins and lots of food and drink. It’s especially important to stick to your usual oral hygiene routine – continue to brush your teeth at least twice per day and clean in-between your teeth daily.
3) Keep Hydrated
Remember to stay hydrated especially if you are somewhere hot or taking part in sports activities. This is important for your overall health but drinking water also helps to wash away the bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath. It isn’t always advisable to drink tap water abroad so research the country before you go and if in doubt only drink bottled water.
4) Use a straw
The hot weather tends to make us choose to drink more refreshing drinks including fizzy drinks and iced cocktails. These choices often contain a lot of sugar. If possible look for sugar free versions but if this isn’t possible try and use a straw (preferably paper or reusable rather than plastic). This will minimise contact with the surface of your teeth and in turn minimise the risk to your teeth. It’s also a good idea to have a few sips of water after one of these drinks to help wash away the sugar.
NBSeveral holiday resorts are no longer providing straws in order to minimise their plastic waste, so it may be a good idea to pop a pack of paper straws in your suitcase!
5) Limit sugary snacks
Where possible try to limit the amount of sugary food you eat throughout the day. On holiday we tend to eat more foodthan usual and often graze all day. Whilst it’s ok to overindulge every now and then remember that every time we eat/drink something sugary our teeth are under attack. Try to be sensible with the number of sugary foods and drinks that you are consuming. Ideally we would recommend saving the sugary foods/drinks to meal times and snacking on fresh fruit, vegetables and sugar free foods instead.
Leave at least 30 minutes between consuming something sugary or acidic and brushing your teeth. Eating or drinking something high in sugars and acids, for example orange juice and ice cream, can change the pH level in your mouth which weakens the tooth enamel.Brushing straight after you eat can result in you scraping off the softened or weakened enamel letting the acid go even deeper into the teeth.
Have a great holiday!