Festival Fun? Don’t Risk a Dental Disaster!
August 9th, 2018
Festival goers in Britain have been blessed so far this summer with some of the hottest and driest months in living memory, sparing them of the traditional mud bath that we have come to expect. This rare, prolonged heat wave means that for once in a lifetime waterproof clothing is not top of the list of priorities. There is, however, one other item that you really shouldn’t go without – your toothbrush. Read on to learn why this should be one of the most important items to pack in your festival kit.
Festivals – a growing trend
Here in Britain, all the evidence suggests we love a good music festival – even if it the Great British summer means this usually involves getting soaked to the skin and covered in mud. This year is perhaps the first time for many that instead it’s been a case of smothering on the suncream.
Of course, Glastonbury has long held the crown as king of all festivals and taking place in late June is considered by many to be the season opener. That said, the festival landscape has changed over recent years since the decision was made to make Glastonbury a bi-annual event. In addition, Virgin last year announced an end to its long term sponsorship of the V Festival.
Despite these changes, there are many other festivals both well-known and not so well known throughout the country and more appearing year on year. In research conducted last summer, it was estimated that as many as one in ten 18-34 year olds have either attended or planning to attend a festival during summer, and many more people either side of this age group are also likely to do so.
Avoiding tooth trouble
A lot of progress has been made in recent years to promote a message of safety and security for festival goers, addressing key issues such as drug misuse, harassment, theft and more. One topic that has not had much time under the spotlight, however, is that of dental health.
Despite a significant increase in awareness of the importance of good oral health over recent years, research conducted by the Oral Health Foundation and Polo Sugar Free discovered that people are tempting tooth trouble when attending music festivals by not prioritising their teeth. The survey revealed that approximately a third of festival goers failed to brush their teeth more than once a day, with a significant number failing to brush altogether. This puts them at serious risk of experiencing serious problems with their teeth. Brushing your teeth just once a day instead of the recommended twice increases the risk of tooth decay by up to 30% as acids are able to attack the teeth for considerably longer periods. This can lead to long term problems and potentially lead to the loss of teeth.
Dangers in the diet
Alongside the issue of brushing, another problem the researchers found to be associated with festivals was the typical diet. This was found to typically include large amounts of sugary foods and drinks, and of course there was plenty of alcoholic drinks – many of which also contain high levels of sugar. With this in mind, brushing at a festival should be an even higher priority than usual. After eating anything sugary, your teeth are attacked by acid for up to an hour, and if you consume sweet products regularly throughout the period of a weekend, for example, the attack will become continuous, leading to the possibility of irreversible tooth decay.
Changing the trend
Despite expressing concern at the lack of brushing reported by many festival goers, the Oral Health foundation did also find some encouraging signs that trends are changing- a toothbrush was top of the packing list for over a quarter of people surveyed, and even came at a higher priority than other essentials such as deodorant, baby wipes and even toilet roll. This is without a doubt a real step in the right direction.
Whilst for the majority of people the intention is there, what really matters is action, so the resounding message is not just to pack your toothbrush when you head to a festival, but to use it at least twice a day.
Here at Battle Road Dental Practice in St Leonards on Sea, we pride ourselves in offering a comprehensive range of dentistry for the whole family and aim to ensure that every patient has a pleasant and relaxing experience. To enquire about becoming a member or to book an appointment now, call us on 08443 879788.