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How can I protect my oral health this summer?


Although we all love the warmer weather, it can pose a risk to our oral health.


Many of our patients are currently making plans to make the most of the warmer weather while it lasts! Summer holidays, BBQs and weddings will almost certainly be on a long list of activities throughout this period.

The warm weather is fantastic but it does bring with it some additional risks to your oral health. At Hermitage Dental Practice, our aim is to encourage and educate our patients to look after their teeth well, we have put together a few tips to help you this summer.


Smoking


Many cancer risks are associated with smoking and oral cancer is no exception. This can be fatal can can lead to problems with speech, swallowing and other issues. Save your money and your health and make this the time to stop smoking.


Alcohol


We may tend to drink more alcohol during the summer months in the beer gardens and at more social gathering with friends and family members. All adults are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. The recommendation is to spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week.

14 units is equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of lower-strength wine.

Alcohol is also a contributor to oral cancer, especially if drunk in excess or too regularly. It is also a common factor in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis (and if you have dental implants, peri-implantitis too). Have fun but remember to drink sensibly.


Fizzy Drinks


What could be more appealing on a hot day than a fizzy drink straight from the fridge? As a treat, these are OK, but it is important to remember that they usually contain high levels of sugar which can be extremely harmful to your teeth. In addition to this, most of these drinks have a high acidity content, even the zero sugar options. This is harmful to the protective enamel on your teeth and can damage it, potentially leading to you suffering from sensitive teeth.


Ice cream


It probably goes without saying that ice cream is also high in sugar. If you suffer from sensitive teeth ice cream may also make you wince!



Dehydration


We mentioned earlier that alcohol can contribute to gum disease. One of the ways in which it does this is by causing dehydration. This can also happen in warmer weather when we don’t drink enough fluid. You shouldn’t rely on fizzy drinks for this, even if you have one as a treat. Make sure that the majority of your fluid intake consists of water; this is both cheaper and a lot better for your teeth. Water also helps to wash away some sugars that may remain stuck to your teeth.


Habits


Along with opening crisp packets and biting your nails; chewing ice increases the risk of breaking your teeth. By all means put ice into your drink to cool it down, but let it melt and don’t try to break it with your teeth! Please also refrain from opening bottles with your teeth!



We hope that you have a great summer. Make sure that you maintain a good oral health regime during this time and don’t forget to keep your regular check up appointments. If you would like to book an appointment or have any concerns you would like to discuss with us, you can do so by calling the Hermitage Dental Practice on 01530 510533.

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