The Summer holidays are now well under way: the kids are off school, the out of office replies are on, and tourist destinations are enjoying their busy season. You might be planning on jetting off abroad to find some sunshine, exploring what the UK has to offer, or enjoying day tripping locally with your family. Whichever option you’ve gone for this Summer, it’s likely that routines will be relaxed, and that priorities will be different. Perhaps the kids might be going to bed a bit later, mornings might be less fraught with school runs, and there might be a few treats thrown in along the way. Whatever your plans are, it’s important to still ensure that you follow a healthy oral hygiene routine, prioritising your twice-a-day brushing of your teeth. Routines can easily slip over holiday periods, which can have consequences for the health of your teeth.
With an emphasis on festival goers, the Oral Health Foundation recently worked with Polo® Sugar Free to learn a little more about how our oral hygiene routines can change whilst we attend music festivals. These events, which usually run over long weekends, are often associated with poor toilet facilities, a lack of easily accessible showering options, and queues for water taps. Whilst most of our holidays will present with more opportunities to maintain our oral hygiene routines, the relaxed atmosphere and change in priorities at festivals is also reflective of other types of holidays, and so there are lessons that can be learnt by all of us.
When taking a break from the norm, many of us may consume a larger amount of alcohol than normal. Alcohol has a high sugar content, as do many of the food treats we might reach for over the holiday season. The additional sugar can lead to problems such as tooth decay which can be painful and uncomfortable, with a potential to lead to cavities and fillings being needed, or even tooth loss. Combining our additional sugar consumption with relaxed tooth brushing routines as we indulge in the holiday spirit can create further risk of tooth decay.
To minimise our risk of tooth decay, it is advised that we seek to reduce our consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and also ensure we brush our teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time. Having a good routine prior to going on holiday can help you to maintain this whilst away. Whilst it may seem a chore to have to reach for your toothbrush, you’ll be thankful that you did in the longer run, as your chances of pain and discomfort will be reduced.
So, if you’re writing a list ready for packing, make sure you include your toothbrush and toothpaste. And when you’re planning what you’ll do with your holiday-days, ensure that maintaining your regular routines features within this. That way, you’ll maintain your smile for many holidays to come.
If you’d like to read more about how holidays, and festivals in particular, can affect our oral health routines, click on the link to access the Oral Health Foundation article about their research with Polo® Sugar Free.