Summer is well and truly on its way bringing holidays, parties, barbeques and long days at the beach. You might be planning a break from work or school, but that doesn’t mean you should take a holiday from caring for your teeth.
Here are a few of my top tips to watch your dental health during the silly season.
Watch out for sugar in alcohol
Many of us indulge in more drinks than usual over the summer, with so much of our socialising done over a glass of wine or a beer. Did you know a gin and tonic contains around 3.5 teaspoons of sugar, while the average white wine contains about 1.5 teaspoons?
White spirits such a gin and vodka contain the lowest sugar levels; try them with soda and fresh lime. Avoiding the sugar in many drinks is difficult but if you do indulge, remember to clean your teeth before going to bed.
Beware of sports drinks and soft drinks
Another popular option on a hot summer’s day. Sugar-laden sports and soft drinks can cause decay by feeding cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.
Even sugar-free soft drinks cause erosion due to high acidity levels. The best option is always water. Sipping on water with fresh fruit and mint is a natural way to add a splash of flavour.
Don’t take a holiday from flossing
Long summer days and nights out can lower your motivation to floss, and even skip brushing altogether.
Flossing daily is crucial if you want to keep your mouth healthy – did you know you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surface if you don’t floss? Bacteria that cause decay love to hide in the spaces between your teeth.
Avoid constant snacking
Too much snacking can be bad for our waistline, but did you know it can also damage your teeth? After you eat, sugars remain in your mouth, feeding bacteria that attack the tooth’s surface. It takes around half an hour for saliva to neutralise acid after eating.
I’m not saying don’t eat at all, but if you’re constantly eating, your teeth will constantly be under attack. It’s easy to over-indulge when you’re on holiday and out of your regular routine, but watch your snacking.
Don’t forget healthy eating
Don’t forget to take care of your diet over the summer. A healthy diet low in sugar can help lessen the acidic attacks on your teeth. Swap sugary snacks for those with less sugar, such as cheese, nuts and celery.