A new survey has found that the most important thing for holidaymakers to pack is their toothbrush.
The research, carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation, found that a toothbrush was the number one holiday essential.
This is important for holidaymakers as people’s diets can often be worse than when they are at home, so looking after your teeth becomes even more important.
With more than 58 per cent of Brits going abroad for holidays last year, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, offered some advice for keeping your oral health good while you are away.
Dr Carter said: “Holidays often mean we end up snacking throughout the day which might be convenient, particularly if we have young children or are on an all-inclusive package, but the frequency of doing so can be harmful to their teeth and have lasting implications. These foods and drinks are potentially okay in moderation but they should be kept to mealtimes only.”
He said holidaymakers often snack and graze in between meals, and these often contain high amounts of sugar and salt, which can be damaging to your teeth. This is especially important as when we eat acidic things, our mouth can be under attack for around an hour, Dr Carter warned.
When we are away, many of us will eat more acidic foods, such as olives, red wines and ciders, as well as eating more sugary foods and drinks, which can increase the risk of dental erosion and tooth decay.
“Risks of dental erosion and tooth decay are also increased during the holiday season as eating-habits and patterns often change. It is more likely that normal meal-times are disrupted during the holidays and snacking and grazing increases, which can cause multiple-attacks on teeth throughout the day,” Dr Carter said.
This can damage the enamel of your teeth, which can expose the dentine underneath and make teeth discoloured and sensitive.
For dentists, it’s important that patients know the foods and drinks that could damage their dental health while they are away, and the steps they can take to reduce it.