It’s no secret that alcohol has negative side-effects. Liver damage, poor decision-making, and cardiovascular problems can arise when you drink too much. It should come as no surprise that alcohol can have a harmful effect on your teeth, too.
While having a few drinks every now and then won’t cause too many long-term issues, there are several things that you should consider before you say “yes” to that second glass of champagne or pop open a bottle of red wine at dinner.
One of the most damaging side-effects of alcohol is also one of the least discussed. Alcohol has a tendency to dry the mouth out, reducing your saliva flow. And when you produce less saliva, the bacteria and debris on your enamel don’t get washed away. This is how cavities form.
If you’re celebrating a night out with friends, do your teeth a favor by alternating drinks with a full glass of water to replenish your saliva stores. You can also bring a pack of sugar-free gum or some mints with you, as chewing on those will stimulate saliva production.
You’ve probably been told by many dentists and doctors that sugar is bad for your teeth. The bacteria that lives in your mouth feeds on sugar. So when you consume sweet cocktails and spritzers throughout the night, you’re providing plenty of fuel for that bacteria to flourish and eat away at your enamel.
While it’s okay to sip on a sugary cocktail every now and then, we recommend that you opt for their less sweet counterparts instead. In general, the drier the drink, the lower the sugar content. For example, a dry brut champagne typically has just 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, whereas a sweet doux champagne can have between 8-10 grams.
Who doesn’t love a fizzy drink on a nice night out? Champagne, spritzers, and beer are great or celebration and having fun with friends, but you should know that you’re putting your enamel at risk when you consume these beverages.
Carbonic acid is the compound that makes these drinks bubble and fizz, but it also eats away at your enamel, which can give way to tooth decay. Make sure that you limit the amount of carbonated beverages that you consume. Follow up your fizzy drinks with water to wash away bacteria and make sure that you thoroughly brush your teeth after a night of drinking.
The Bottom Line
It’s always important to consider how the things that you eat and drink affect your dental health. Before heading out for a night on the town, keep in mind that each beverage you consume can have both immediate and lasting effects on your teeth and gums. You can drink alcohol in moderation without worrying too much, so long as you brush, floss, and drink plenty of water in between!
If you have any more questions, feel free to give us a call! We’re more than happy to give you advice on how to keep your teeth healthy.