Sun, sea, sand and… snacking?

In a survey conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation, almost three in ten of us (29%) would prefer a beach holiday over any other, unaware of the potential oral health problems that may lie ahead.

Risks of dental erosion and tooth decay are increased during the holiday season as eating habits and patterns often change. Consuming too many acidic foods and fizzy drinks are often the case on holidays.

Summer foods like vinaigrettes, olives, red wine and ciders are acidic, and a leading cause of dental erosion. Ice cream, seaside rock and fizzy drinks attack the teeth and cause tooth decay, resulting in cavities and the need for fillings.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: 'Snacking throughout the day might be easy and convenient when on holiday, particularly if you have young children, but the frequency of doing so can be harmful to their teeth and have lasting implications. These food and drinks are potentially OK in moderation, but they should be kept to mealtimes only.

'Eating and drinking naturally weakens the enamel on your teeth, and as a result, the Foundation recommends eating three square meals a day instead of having seven to ten 'snack attacks'. If you do snack between meals, choose foods and drinks that do not contain sugar, limiting the amount of time your motuh is at risk.'

Sightseeing (18%), followed by camping (10%), diving and cruise (8%), city breaks and clubbing (7%) and adventure and safari (6%) completed the survey.

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