Teeth at risk during summer holidays

As a nation, we might rejoice when the summer season comes around, yet millions of holidaymakers could be putting their oral health at greater risk with their summer diet.

Oral health charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, has issued a reminder to people that consuming too many acidic foods, as well as eating more sugary foods and drinks, traditionally associated with summertime and holidays, can potentially 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.

Dental erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attacks from typical holiday foods and drinks like vinaigrettes, olives, red wine and ciders.

Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth, and if it is worn away, the dentine underneath becomes exposed and teeth can look discoloured and become sensitive.

Tooth decay happens when sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque. Sugars from foods like ice-cream, seaside rock and fizzy drinks stimulate the formation of acids that attack the teeth and destroy the enamel.

Tooth decay causes cavities and results in the need for fillings.

Whilst sugary foods and drinks are easy to identify, acidic foods and drinks that can increase the risk of dental erosion are not always easy to recognise.

To help holidaymakers, the Foundation has compiled a list of some of the most popular foods consumed during the summer and their pH Level.

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