Well, it’s that time of year again when many of us will be enjoying a few more tipples than usual. We are continually advised by the press about the effects of alcohol on our health, but hang on a minute, what does this mean for our teeth?
Our teeth are the first thing to come into contact with the alcohol in our beverages, so are they taking a direct hit? Below we explore this further.
First things first, we must point out that alcohol is acidic and therefore it can soften your tooth enamel and eventually wear it away. There are tips to maintaining a healthy mouth in a blog here.
One of the worst enamel-eroders is sparkling white wine, so you may want to opt for a less bubbly beverage. Let’s also not forget about those carbonated mixers, which will add to the acid in your drink, when mixed with your favourite spirits. A top tip is to neutralise the mouth acid by drinking some water in between drinks. Also, remember not to brush your teeth straight after drinking alcohol as it can brush away the softened enamel.
Dehydration can not only cause big problems for the body, but it can also cause issues with your oral health. If you notice you have a dry mouth quite frequently, which can occur through drinking alcohol; this lack of hydration could mean the mouth does not have enough saliva to fight off microbes that cause bad breath, infections, gingivitis and cavities.
If you have a preference for dark coloured soft drinks mixed with your alcohol, this can affect your teeth and create staining. Red wine, Sangria and dark barley and malts found in dark coloured beers can also have the same staining effects.
Ice and a Slice
We know that ice and a slice is quite nice but have you considered that the extra lemon or lime in your drink adds to the acidity of the drink and further erodes your teeth enamel. Plus, biting down on the ice can crack your teeth, so think before you bite.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as research from the University of Pavia in Italy has found that certain compounds in wine can destroy the bad bacteria that cause cavities, tooth decay and sore throats. We are not suggesting you start downing back the wine, but it is certainly food for thought if you don’t already have a particular tipple of choice.
So, if you’re having a drink or two over the Christmas period, spare a thought for your teeth, they will thank you for it.