The holiday season is a time for fun and celebration, and sharing a beer with your favorite cousins or sipping on spiked apple cider with friends is part of the experience. But this year, remember that no number of teeth cleanings will repair the damage alcohol does to your dental health. Moderate alcohol consumption doesn’t take away from living a healthy lifestyle, but according to the CDC, heavy drinking can have long-term effects. Alcohol affects the brain and liver, but most people don’t realize it also affects oral health.
Protect Your Smile
Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of suffering from permanent tooth loss than those that abstain from alcohol use. They tend to have more plaque, and overall their teeth look less healthy. Like coffee, dark liquors and wine stain tooth enamel. And the acidity of beer also leaves teeth looking dull and stained. Once teeth are stained, teeth whitening treatments are the only way to reverse the damage.
The Effects On Overall Dental Health
In addition to staining your teeth, alcohol also dries out the mouth and increases bacteria levels. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against plaque, but alcohol works to prevent its production. This leaves plaque to coat the teeth and can lead to cavities and tooth decay. If you take your whiskey on the rocks or like to add a bit of citrus to your drinks, you further risk your dental health. Ice can break teeth and citrus eats away at tooth enamel.
Your Tooth-Friendly Holiday Plan
Protecting your teeth this holiday season doesn’t mean you have to completely forgo alcohol. If you’re going to drink, keep to light beers and white wine that won’t stain your teeth. You should also pair your holiday cocktails with water whenever you can. Take a swig of water between drinks to stimulate saliva production. And as always, commit to regular teeth cleanings from your dentist.
Don’t let this holiday season negatively affect your oral health. Family First Dentistry in Anchorage, AK, wants to help their patients protect their smiles throughout the year. Schedule a teeth cleaning appointment with their caring dental professionals by calling (907) 562-2820, and visit their website for more information on the practice. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.