Alcohol and Your Teeth

By Erika Donovan D.M.D.

It is well known that sugary foods and drinks can affect your teeth, but many people are not aware that alcoholic drinks can also be detrimental to your teeth. As we approach the holidays and seasonal parties, your dental team wants you to be aware of the harm certain drinks can cause to your teeth and ways to decrease your risk of developing cavities.

Beer, wine and mixed drinks all contain carbohydrates which fuel the bacteria in your mouth that leads to decay. The more carbohydrates you consume, the more “food” the bacteria has to consume, the more acid they produce, and ultimately the more you are at risk for decay. In addition to that, alcoholic drinks are acidic and acid breaks down tooth enamel as part of the decay process. Usually alcoholic beverages are consumed in a social setting and most people sip on them as they visit with family and friends. This exposes the teeth to the acid and carbohydrates for a longer period of time.

With all of this being said, I don’t want to discourage your holiday enjoyment. I would just like to share some tips on how to enjoy your beverages without worrying about your teeth.

Tip #1: Good Oral Hygiene and Home care reduces the plaque and tartar present in your mouth. Keeping up with your routine hygiene appointments and great brushing and flossing can reduce the bacteria present which, in turn, reduces your risk for decay.

Tip #2: You can reduce the acid in your mouth after or while consuming an alcoholic beverage by drinking plain water (not sparkling) or eating a meal with the beverage.

If you have any further questions, call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained doctors. They can answer all of your questions regarding this topic and more.


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