Oral health: Expert warns all-inclusive holiday could be ‘damaging’ to teeth – what to do

Teeth whitening: Dentist discusses at home methods

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“As Brits begin heading on holiday for the first time in what feels like forever, all-inclusive packages have soared in popularity,” said Dr Khaled Kasem, Chief Orthodontist of Impress. From an all-you-can-eat buffet to unlimited drink refills, the usual set-up offers a myriad of treats to be enjoyed. But where does that leave your teeth?

Dr Kasem revealed that indulging yourself in everything that an all-inclusive break has to offer could be “damaging” to your teeth.

Certain food choices could leave you with cavities, erosions and gum disease.

The expert said: “It’s a holiday tradition to fill up your plate at the all-inclusive buffet but mixing fried food with sweet treats in such a short space of time could be damaging your teeth.

“Take breakfast, for example, many will opt for a fried breakfast with toast, followed by a pastry for dessert.

“But when you chew on bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar, which forms into a paste that sticks to the crevices between teeth.

“Add to that the sugar from your breakfast pastry and you’re hit with a losing combination that can cause cavities.”

The Mayo Clinic explains that cavities, also known as tooth decay, describe “permanently damaged areas” that progress into tiny openings or holes.

Fortunately, brushing and flossing could aid this problem.

Dr Kasem said: “That’s why it’s so important to increase the amount of time you spend brushing your teeth – we’d always recommend waiting 30 minutes after breakfast before flossing and brushing your teeth, as this gives your mouth enough time to break down the food and settle.

“If you’re eating/drinking more, you should be brushing more too – we’d recommend up to three minutes, three times a day.”

Another culprit that could be tricky for your oral health is tepid food. In fact, the expert recommended “trip to the bin” instead.

He said: “Lukewarm food is a prime growing temperature for harmful bacteria that is likely to cause food poisoning or even cavities.

“Not only that, but the acidity from vomiting can also cause erosion on your teeth.”

Dental erosion details the loss of tooth enamel, which is the hard protective coating of the tooth.

Once your enamel is worn away, the dentine below becomes exposed, which could trigger pain and sensitivity.

“If your food is supposed to be hot, make sure it’s hot enough that you can’t touch it for too long, and cold food should feel like it’s been stored in a fridge,” Dr Kasem noted.

The last potential danger for your teeth is the offer of sugary drinks and unlimited refills.

The doctor said: “The unlimited refills on soft drinks can be tempting but drinking too much sugar can cause a host of dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and dental cavities.”

Gum disease describes your gums becoming red, swollen and sore. They might also bleed, the NHS notes.

Dr Kasem added: “The good news is that a week at an all-inclusive won’t do you much harm, apart from giving you bad breath and furry teeth.

“To keep the bad breath at bay, try to drink more water than you do soft drinks, and stick to your dental health routine of brushing and flossing for at least two minutes, twice a day.”

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