With the festive season around the corner, you’re probably preparing for office Christmas parties and celebrations with friends and family. For many of us, this might mean an increase in alcoholic drinks. Before you indulge, read on to find out how alcohol affects your oral health, how to look after your teeth while drinking alcohol, and which drinks to choose with your teeth in mind.
Is alcohol bad for your teeth?
You know that sugar is one of the main enemies of your oral health. Not only does alcohol contain its own sugars, but its also commonly mixed with drinks high in sugar, like soda and fruit juices. Cocktails are some of the worst offenders, with lost of sugars mixed together. High levels of sugar increase the growth of bacteria and plaque on your teeth.
Many alcoholic drinks are also prone to staining your teeth, especially those that are acidic. So, mixing your drinks with citrus can promote teeth staining. Dark-colored drinks like red wine, dark beers, and dark juices are also likely to stain your teeth when consumed frequently.
Another problem is that alcohol promotes dehydration and dryness of mouth. This reduces the beneficial effects of saliva in the mouth, which typically helps to wash bacteria away from the surface of your teeth.
How to keep your teeth healthy
You’re often told to drink water in between alcoholic beverages to reduce your hangover the next day, but it can also benefit your teeth. Drinking water reduces dry mouth and also helps to wash the sugars and bacteria off your teeth. Chewing gum on a night of drinking can also help to promote saliva production, just make sure it’s sugar-free!
You’ll also benefit your teeth and gums by choosing your alcoholic drinks more wisely and avoiding the biggest offenders. So, let’s look at some of the better drinks to choose…
Which drinks are best for your teeth?
Dry white wine – Wine and beer will have a lower sugar content than a lot of mixed drinks and cocktails, but there are still sweet wines that can damage your teeth. For the best in sugar content, choose a dry white wine.
Gin/vodka and tonic – If you’re looking for something to mix spirits with, tonic is a much better choice than sodas and fruit juices. It is less acidic, has lower levels of sugar, and is a clear liquid that won’t stain your teeth.
Light beer – If you’re a beer drinker, then swap your usual choice for a light beer for better oral health. They are typically lighter in color and also have a higher water content, making them kinder on your teeth and gums.
If you need a check-up before or after this holiday season, then contact us to book an appointment with a local dentist in Advance, NC.