Summer is here, and your family’s schedule is crazy! School is out, camps and outdoor activities fill the calendar, and vacations are planned. But it is not the time to take a break from good oral health habits, as there’s nothing worse than having a relaxing getaway interrupted by a sudden bout of illness.
So, here are a few tips to get us through the holidays…
1. The dental check-up
First things first, before you set off on your holiday, make sure to book a trip to your dentist. Although a visit to the dentist may not be at the forefront of your mind when preparing to go on holiday, it should be a part of everyone’s pre-holiday preparations, either as a precaution or to eliminate potential long-term damage to your dental health. If this is not possible, get this done immediately when back from holiday, a good cleaning might be a good thing after giving your teeth a hard time.
2. Limit your sugar intake
Our summer holidays are usually the time where we eat more excessively than usually, which more often than not, makes for a high-in-sugar diet. It is better for our teeth and general health to stick to three-meals-a-day instead of having seven to ten “snack-attacks”, which can cause dental decay and erosion if the enamel is worn away the dentine underneath is exposed, and your teeth can look discolored and become sensitive.
3. Water is the drink of choice
Water plays a vital role in our oral health. We should avoid regular consumption of drinks with high sugar and acidic content such as sports drinks or fruit juices which increase the chance of dental decay and enamel erosion. A word of caution on drinking tap water abroad though, to reduce the risk of picking up a tummy bug, bottled water is probably the better option.
4. Pack your toothbrush
This should go without saying but during the packing process, which can get especially manic, it’s surprising what can get left behind, even something as valuable in your daily routine as your toothbrush! It’s also a good idea to take a spare toothbrush, just in case you have a mishap with your regular one. Before a holiday is also the perfect time to buy a new toothbrush and pop it in your toilet bag.
5. Protect your lips
While basking in the sun, many of us will sensibly apply suntan lotion to protect ourselves against the sun’s rays, in a bid to help prevent such diseases as skin cancer but what many people fail to realize is the importance of protecting our lips. With the skin on our lips being thin and particularly vulnerable due to the lack of melanin, shielding our lips from the sun on holiday is essential as prolonged exposure could lead to forms of oral cancer.
6. Take a dental first aid kit
This is a crucial piece of equipment to take on holiday. Small and inexpensive kits are available, and the majority of them contain everything you would need in a dental emergency. No matter how careful we are, accidents do happen so make sure you are prepared for anything.
7. Beware of sporting injuries
This ties in with the above point, oral sporting injuries are a common occurrence, and especially prevalent during the holiday period. Lost or cracked teeth when diving into swimming pools is a common one, as is the impact of a ball or bat to the mouth. Accidents happen, and unfortunately, there’s not much you can to do prevent them but simply being aware of the potential dangers and being prepared with your dental first aid kit.
8. Take your spare dentures
This may come as a surprise, but many sets of dentures are lost by their owners on holiday so taking a spare pair is always a good idea.
9. Regulate your alcohol consumption
It’s easy to get carried away, but there a certain holiday luxuries that you should be particularly careful of, and one of these is alcohol. Regular consumption of sweet cocktails and fizzy alcoholic drinks can result in tooth decay. And with alcohol being a leading cause of oral cancer we must make sure that we drink responsibly.
10. Know the support available
You may be far away from your regular dentist, but there is still professional support available to you in an emergency. So do a bit of research before leaving for your holiday, to know where and what help you have available in the event of a medical emergency.
Book your appointment with Corne Smith Dentistry today to ensure your family’s oral health is ready for that holiday!