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As we hope for warm, sunny, summer months we should be mindful that the warm weather can bring additional risks to our oral health. With the prospect of afternoons in sunny pub gardens, or barbecues with friends and family, we would like to provide you with some helpful ‘summer tips’ to help you keep your oral health in great condition.

We are more likely to drink alcohol during the summer months, at parties, barbecues or in a pub garden. We all know that alcohol use affects many aspects of our health, and that includes our oral health. Alcohol is a common factor in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, as well as being a contributing factor to oral cancers. Consuming alcoholic drinks that are high is acids or sugars also expose our enamel to erosion.

Even when we are avoiding the alcohol, we must be mindful of what we are drinking. An ice cold fizzy drink or an alcohol-free version of our favourite tipple can have very high levels of sugar and acidity.

Be sure to give your mouth a break by swapping out one or two of these drinks for a glass of water.

What could be better than a nice cool ice cream or ice lolly on a hot summer’s day. We must remember, however, that these lovely cooling treats can be very high in sugar.

Instead of enjoying an ice cream as a mid-afternoon snack, why not have it straight after your lunch or dinner. Each time we eat we are exposing our tooth enamel to erosion, therefore by limiting sweet treats to mealtimes, we are limiting our exposure to erosion.

Barbecues are a great way to get friends and family together on a warm summer’s evening. With all the delicious barbecue food that there is on offer, some are more tooth friendly than others. Barbecued meats, as well as their sweet, sticky marinades and sauces, can get trapped in your teeth.

Be sure to use interdental brushes or floss to clean those all important areas.

For some, a well-earned restful summer holiday is on the cards. A week or two away from home with friends and family, time to rest and recuperate. We should make sure, however, that we don’t let our oral health habits slip. Make sure to pack all of your oral health essentials, including interdental brushes or floss, so that you can continue to clean your teeth for two minutes, twice a day.

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