School is out, holidays booked and BBQs lit as the summer holidays are upon us! Day trips, festivals and holidays bring fun and adventure, but can be no laughing matter if damaging to your teeth!
So, here are our five top tips on how to look after your holiday teeth!
1. Have a check-up before check-in! Ensure you maintain regular check-ups with your dentist and hygienist, as often as they recommend, and don't ignore any problems before going away. Having a routine check up or deep clean will keep your smile healthy over the summer, and prompt treatment for any problems will prevent an emergency trip to the dentists while on holiday!
2. Don't forget your toothbrush! Not just your toothbrush, don't forget to pack your dental floss or interdental brushes to remove sticky plaque from in between your teeth. Keep up a good brushing routine even on holiday or at festivals, brushing for at least twice a day for two minutes using toothpaste containing ≥1450ppm fluoride to help protect holiday teeth from cavities when home!
3. Keep up the healthy eating. Be mindful of the effects constant snacking over the holidays will have on your teeth. You can still have a holiday ice cream or cocktail, but keeping these as a treat or at meal times will help reduce the amount of sugar your teeth are exposed to throughout the day. Keep hydrated with water as fizzy drinks can be very damaging to teeth enamel, even the sugar-free versions!
4. Teeth are not tools!Teeth were never designed to open bottles, packets of crisps or nuts! Recent research by the Oral Health Foundation and Philips found that two-thirds of us frequently use our teeth for tasks other than eating and drinking! Common misuse for teeth include cutting clear tape (41%), biting our nails (26%), using our teeth to hold things (22%) and cutting tags off new (holiday!) clothing (20%). Use scissors instead!
5. Be sun safe! Holiday sunshine is fabulous for outdoor living and a great source of vitamin D, which plays a key role in a healthier immune system. It also gives your oral health a boost by helping to prevent gum disease (click to read our gum disease blog). However, to be sun safe you should always wear sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and at least 4-star UVA protection, and to avoid the heat of the day.
Following these top tips will keep your teeth healthy and your smile happy over the summer and beyond!