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Summer Holidays – make sure you keep smiling

August 8, 2012

With the school holidays here, and although the sun has arrived in the UK at last, now is the time when a lot of families are venturing abroad. For the children nothing quite beats the excitement of getting ready for a holiday and thinking about the fun to be had in the pool and on the beach. For the parents the excitement is on hold slightly as they tick off everything that has to be done before they can go. Has all the washing been done? Are the passports still valid? Has the dog been booked into the kennels? Have you packed enough tops? Should you get the foreign currency now or later?

One thing that is almost certain to slip most people’s mind is their teeth. Have you thought about the health of your teeth whilst you’re away? With the help of the British Dental Health Foundation we’ve put together our top ten tips for your holiday.

  • If you have not had a check-up recently, book an appointment to see a dentist before the holiday to identify and sort out any problems that could flare up on holiday.
  • Check that your holiday insurance has dental coverage and if you don’t have holiday insurance make sure you get cover. Note, that if you are on one of the plans from Denplan you benefit from their Worldwide Dental Emergency Cover. Make sure you take the details with you.
  • If you are not with Denplan and if you are going on holiday to an EU country, don’t forget to pack your European Health Insurance Card, as this may entitle you to free or reduced price dental cover.
  • If you have any crowns or dentures pack a repair kit as part of your first aid supplies. These are available from most chemists.
  • Use bottled water to clean your teeth in the morning and in the evening to avoid an upset stomach, as you may not be able to drink local tap water in some countries.
  • Carry some sugar free gum containing Xylitol for after and in between mealtimes to help maintain a healthy mouth.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the lips to help protect against cancer.
  • You are more likely to treat yourself on holiday and have more sugary foods and drink, don’t forget to carry on with your usual dental hygiene routine to maintain a healthy smile.
  • Try to keep snacking to a minimum, the more frequently you eat the local delicacy or sample the local beers, the more often your teeth are under attack.
  • Above all, don’t forget your toothbrush!

It’s easy to get carried away on holiday and we want you to have a great time. Equally though we want you to come back with healthy teeth and gums. Take extra care whilst you are away and stick to your dental routine, including brushing for two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks, chewing sugar-free gum for 10 minutes after eating or drinking anything and also flossing everyday. But above all don’t forget your toothbrush!