Summer is the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax a little, whether you’re packing your bags and heading off with the family or having a staycation in your backyard. But not everyone is in holiday mode. In fact, for the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, vacation time is the perfect opportunity to wreak havoc with your teeth.

But you don’t have to lose your head, or your teeth, just yet. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 things you can do to keep you (and your dentist) happy.

1. Brush your teeth… and use a mouthwash.

Brushing your teeth is one thing, but bacteria also live on your gums, the roof of your mouth, and your tongue. Make sure when you brush, you’re holding your toothbrush close to your gums at a 45-degree angle, using a gentle circular motion. This will remove the bacteria from your teeth and gum line. Brush your tongue too.

To clean the roof of your mouth, use an antibacterial mouthwash that your dentist recommends.

2. Brush twice a day.

Maintaining your routine isn’t always easy when you’re on holiday, but remember to brush your teeth in the morning and at night before you go to bed.

3. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Fluoride has earned a bit of a reputation over the years, but it’s actually a mineral that we need. Fluoride strengthens the teeth’s enamel and protects them from cavities and decay. It also balances the pH level in your mouth, so there is less decay-causing acid.

In other words, your teeth need the fluoride in your toothpaste to stay strong and healthy.

4. Don’t forget to floss.

Flossing might feel like an unnecessary thing to do, especially when you can’t wait to get to the beach or your book, but it’s important to do if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You could also try an interdental toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach spaces.

5. Stick to a healthy diet.

Summertime is when we indulge ourselves and eat a lot of snacks and treats we would usually avoid. We’re not saying you can’t have that ice cream while you’re on the beach, but it is vital that you remember to brush and floss your teeth to get rid of the cavity-causing sugar.

Bread, pasta, and chips are also a problem when it comes to your teeth. The starchy foods break down into sugar in your mouth, which feeds the bacteria. And it’s these bacteria that cause cavities, decay, and gum disease.

If you can, replace these unhealthy snacks with fresh fruit, veggies, and dairy products like cheese.

6. Drink lots of water

Water is good for you in more ways than one. Not only does it contain the fluoride your teeth need, but it also washes away any harmful bacteria in your mouth and keeps your breath fresh. It also rehydrates you without the added calories of a soda or the teeth-staining properties of coffee, tea, and red wine.

7. Reach for the sugar-free chewing gum

We get that you are going to treat yourself to a few snacks and have a soda or two, and that’s okay, especially if you chew on a piece of sugar-free gum. Not only does it freshen your breath, but it also produces more saliva, which balances the acid levels in your mouth.

8. Kick the habit

Now is the perfect time to stop smoking or using tobacco products, like vapes. Not only does the tobacco stain your teeth, but it also dries out your mouth. This results in bad breath, gum disease, and eventually, tooth loss.

9. Don’t overdo the drinks

Like tobacco, certain beverages can discolor or stain your teeth. Red wine, tea, and coffee are the biggest culprits, so try to cut down on these.

Also, sodas and alcohol contain phosphorus, which is a crucial mineral our bodies need. Unfortunately, too much of it can actually deplete your calcium levels, which means weaker bones and teeth that can eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

10. Visit the dentist

Busy schedules, back-to-back appointments, and long work hours often mean that a visit to the dentist ends up somewhere low down on your list of things to do. Book a dentist visit for the whole family while you’re all on holiday. This way, there are no excuses.

Whether it’s a regular checkup and cleaning or restorative or preventative dentistry, for Dr. Farless and his team of friendly professionals in Greensboro, it’s business as usual, so schedule your appointment today.