Alcohol and Its Effects On Your Teeth

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Alcohol and Its Effects On Your Teeth

Edited May 2020

Summer is here! Soon enough there will be weekend barbecues with family and maybe even days spent down on the river or at the beach. As adults, many of us enjoy cold alcoholic beverages on such occasions.

We don’t want to dampen your spirits or discourage you from having a wonderful time, but like everything in life, moderation is key. Turns out that drinking alcohol can cause damage to your teeth. Bring a little mindfulness to your celebrations and your daily oral routine, and your smile will remain in tip-top shape.

What to Consider

  • Hydration – Alcohol depletes the body of moisture. When you don’t produce enough saliva, your mouth doesn’t rinse and remove bacteria in an efficient way. That means it lingers on the teeth and creates plaque. Drink water in between adult beverages to stay hydrated.
  • Staining – Many alcoholic beverages contain chromogens that give them color. These chromogens attach to tooth enamel which already may be weakened. When this happens, teeth are susceptible to staining. Mixing liquor with dark sodas compounds the situation because sodas have high doses of both sugar and chromogens.
  • Citrus – Adding a little lime or lemon to your cocktail seems like a nice dose of vitamin C, but too much of a good thing erodes the tooth’s enamel.
  • Ice – Do you enjoy your drink on the rocks? Many people do. Just try not to chew on the ice when you’re done. It’s a surefire way to end up with a cracked tooth.

Tips on Drinks

Of course, we have suggestions for how to enjoy the spring season with an adult beverage!

  • Choose clear colored beverages that are lower in sugar (think dry wines, light-colored beers, white liquors). They also are less acidic.
  • Opt for soda or water as a mixer.
  • Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage.
  • Do your best to make a drinking plan ahead of any occasion. Keep to one or two, when possible.

Enjoy the weather, your family, and the time you have together. If you have questions about the topic of alcohol and your dental health, please call us at 828.277.5024 to schedule an appointment.

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