Protecting Your Oral Health This Summer

The warmer weather can pose additional challenges for our teeth and gums….

Flossing teethWe are sure that many of our Ipswich patients are welcoming the warmer weather and are probably making plans to make the most of it before the darker and colder days re-appear. Summer holidays and BBQs will almost inevitably be on the list, along with shorter breaks and other family events.

The warm weather is great to be sure, but it does bring with it some additional risks to your oral health. As part of the remit of the Foxhall Dental Practice is to enable and encourage and educate our patients to look after their teeth well, we felt some ‘summer tips’ would be useful for helping you keep your teeth and gums in good condition this summer.


Let’s start with one that isn’t strictly related to summer but we never miss the opportunity to remind you how devastatingly harmful smoking is. Many cancer risks are associated with smoking and oral cancer is no exception. This can be fatal but even where not it can cause problems with speech, swallowing and may also result in facial disfigurement. Save your money and your health and make this the time to stop smoking.


We probably drink more alcohol during the summer months, either at parties and BBQs or just enjoying a quiet cold beer in a warm pub garden. We aren’t on a mission to stop you drinking but we do urge you to do so in moderation. Alcohol is also a contributor to oral cancer, especially if drunk in excess or too regularly. It is also a common factor in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis (and if you have dental implants, peri-implantitis too). Have fun but remember to drink sensibly.

Fizzy Drinks

If you decide not to drink alcohol, you may well turn to one of the many fizzy drinks that are available. After all, what could be more appealing on a hot day than a fizzy drink straight out of the ice box? As a treat, these are OK, but it is important to remember that they usually contain high levels of sugar which, as you know, can be extremely harmful to your teeth. In addition to this, most of these drinks have a high acidity content. This is harmful to the protective enamel on your teeth and can damage it, potentially leading to you suffering from sensitive teeth.

Ice cream

It probably goes without saying that ice cream is also high in sugar and an almost certainty if we take a trip to the seaside. Again, we are not saying don’t have an ice cream, but remember that it will contribute to your daily sugar intake. It may also make you wince in pain if your teeth are sensitive.

Barbeque risks

Barbeques have been growing in popularity for many years now and can be a great excuse to get together with family and friends. There are a wide range of things that you can cook on them of course, some more tooth friendly than others. We especially want to note the sauces and marinades that are widely used though. Not only can these contain large amounts of sugar but also tend to be very sticky. This means that they are likely to remain stuck to our teeth for quite some time after eating. It is a good idea to swill and spit with water after eating and to use floss to remove any that becomes trapped in your teeth.


We mentioned earlier that alcohol can contribute to gum disease. One of the ways in which it does this is by causing dehydration. This can also happen in warmer weather when we don’t drink enough fluid. You shouldn’t rely on fizzy drinks for this, even if you have one as a treat. Make sure that the majority of your fluid intake consists of water; this is both cheaper and a lot better for your teeth. It not only contains no sugar but will also help to wash away some sugars that may remain stuck to your teeth.

Ice chewing

Along with opening crisp packets and biting your nails; chewing ice is a sure way to increase the risk of breaking your teeth. By all means put ice into your drink to cool it down, but let it melt and don’t try to break it with your teeth or you might get a very unpleasant surprise!

Beach sports and diving

A bit of a niche one, but scuba diving is quite a popular pastime, especially when you travel to warmer countries. Most commonly known as ‘tooth squeeze’, barodontalgia can be an uncomfortable sensation caused by changes in pressure which can cause pockets of air, such as in cavities, to expand and contract. Damage can also be caused by biting down too hard on the mouthpiece. Make sure that your oral health is good before you go, and if you are planning any scuba diving, have your teeth checked at our Ipswich dental practice beforehand.

Finally, if we can motivate ourselves away from the sunbeds, we might take part in beach sports. Any contact sport has its risks of course but frisbees are probably one of the worst as far as tooth damage goes. A failed catch may result in the frisbee coming into contact with your teeth. If this does occur, make sure to get your teeth checked as soon as possible and if any immediate damage is noticeable, try to get an emergency appointment as soon as you can.

We hope that you have a great summer and our dental team are looking forward to it too. Make sure that you maintain a good oral health regime during this time and don’t forget to keep your regular check up appointments. If you would like to book an appointment or have any concerns you would like to discuss with us, you can do so by calling the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396.