Summer is well and truly here. Although we may be having a typical Irish Summer, it is a time of many different social events and holidays abroad and often our oral health can take a backseat to a fun-filled summer. This blog will give you our top tips to ensure you are still maintaining good oral health, yet, still enjoying your summer.
- Plan Ahead: Plan your meals/food before heading out on days away i.e. a picnic. This eliminates snacking and choosing quick, on-the-go options such as fast food or confectionery.
- Eat a Balanced, Nutritious Diet: Summer is a time of an array of nutritious foods being in season. A survey by DentaVox, 2020, showed that around 1 in 3 people tend to consume more fruit and vegetables during the summer months, which is more favourable for our oral and general health. However, 48% of those surveyed revealed they consume more foods and drinks very high in sugar during summer in comparison to other months, with fruit juice consumption being a common habit for many.
- Hydration: Irish adults are recommended to consume 8 cups of water daily (1.6 Liters) per day. (Healthy Ireland, 2021) Fluid intake may increase, especially when in hot climates, due to increased perspiration. Still water is preferred over sparkling or flavoured waters for our oral health as these are acidic and could weaken our enamel.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption which is needed for healthy teeth and gums (Botelho et al., 2020) and can slow or stop the formation of caries. (Aydin & Ozdenur, 2020) Irish people have significantly lower vitamin D levels, due to low sunlight exposure and few foods fortified with Vitamin D. However, supplements are available – check with your pharmacist.
- Don’t Chew on Hard Objects: Chewing on hard objects such as ice cubes can break or chip your teeth, which can lead to infection if left untreated. In addition, trying to open or cut objects open with your teeth is equally as damaging to your teeth.
- Protect your Lips: Lip cancer is one of the most common cancers of the oral cavity. (Dental Health Foundation, 2020) To protect your lips, wear a lip balm with suncream, with at least factor 30 or higher with a 5 star UVA rating. (Marie Keating Foundation, 2021)
- Ensure you adhere to your dental routine: Try not to let bad habits form over the summer period.
- Brush Teeth Twice Daily using a Soft Bristled toothbrush
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing Fluoride with 1450 parts per million.
- Floss your teeth and clean your tongue daily.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
We hope these top tips will help you have a fun filled summer without any Oral Health problems. Make sure and check out our other blogs on a variety of topics, including Children’s Oral Health, Teeth Whitening Tips or Tooth Sensitivity.
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