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How to look after your teeth on holiday

Summer is here and for many people, this means a week or two away from home on holiday. Whether you’re going abroad or staying in the UK, the chances are your oral health is the last thing on your mind when you’re about to go on holiday.

It’s vital that you look after your oral health whilst you are on holiday, just as you would at home. We have put together some top tips on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy whilst on holiday.

Pack the essentials

When you are writing your packing list, make sure you include everything you will need to look after your oral health.

To help you pack, here’s what you will need:

  • Toothbrush with soft bristles (if this is electric, make sure you pack the charger too!)
  • Toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Dental floss or interdental brushes
  • Alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Sugar-free chewing gum

With those in your suitcase, you have everything you need to make sure your oral health doesn’t suffer.

Stick to your routine

It is extremely important that you stick to your usual oral health routine whilst you are on holiday. We understand that you will want to relax. But, we would recommend spending that worthwhile 10 minutes a day on your oral hygiene.

Brushing your teeth twice a day (morning and night), for two minutes each time will keep your teeth free of plaque. However, brushing alone will only clean 60% of teeth surfaces. To ensure all surfaces of your teeth are being cleaned, we would recommend flossing between your teeth at least once per day. If you would like to keep your breath fresher for longer, alcohol-free mouthwash is great to use to rinse. It will also remove any remaining food particles that have become loose while you have been brushing and flossing.

Be aware of your sugar intake

Whilst you are on holiday, the food and drink you consume tends to be slightly higher in sugar and acidity to usual. Holidays are for enjoying yourself, and if that means enjoying some treats, that is perfectly fine.

To protect your teeth, just remember to try and keep your sugary treats to at meal times only, as this will reduce the amount of time your teeth will be under attack for. After a sugary or acidic food and drink, we would recommend drinking a glass of water and chewing some sugar-free gum, as these will help to neutralise the acidity levels in your mouth.

Don’t use your teeth as tools

Forgot to pack your scissors? Don’t have a bottle opener to hand?

Do not use your teeth! Although your teeth are one of the strongest parts of the body, they are designed for everyday eating and drinking. Applying extra pressure by using your teeth as tools can cause excessive wear including; cracking, chipping and even tooth loss. These problems can be difficult and expensive to repair whilst away, and leaving them until you get home could risk the problem getting much worse.

Schedule an appointment

When you book your holiday, it’s a great idea to also book a dental check-up appointment with your dentist for just before you go away. Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums and soft tissues in the mouth for any potential problems that can often be treated quickly. Your dentist will also welcome you to ask any questions you may have about looking after your oral health.

This will give you peace of mind that your teeth are healthy, and you are less likely to suffer from dental problems whilst on holiday.

To book an appointment with Stella Maris Dental in West Bromwich, please click here or call us on 0121 588 4541.

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