Fall is here, and with this special time of year comes more occasions to eat, drink, and be merry. Fall is a season of enjoying the tastes and smells of the season, not only in pumpkin-themed drinks, but in seasonal craft brews. Though we encourage you to enjoy this fall season and all the merrymaking with family and friends, we as your family dentist in Glendale Heights also encourage you to think of your teeth before you drink.
Candy, soda, and other sugary delights get the bad wrap for being destructive substances that we and those we love ingest—as they should. However, alcohol can be just as destructive. No matter what kind of drink you choose, there is sugar in each. Sugar in alcohol does exactly what sugar in anything else does: it causes tooth decay. Why? Sugar from seasonal cocktails and your favorite wine feeds the bad bacteria in your mouth, which wreaks all kinds of havoc in your mouth: tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, etcetera. Obviously, we do not expect you to abstain completely, but we would like to give you some steps to take to care for your teeth this holiday season. One tip is to drink water between drinks to keep your teeth clear of sugar, your saliva fresh, and of course, avoid that hangover the next day!
Sugar isn’t the only harmful side effect of alcohol for your teeth and your body. Dehydration can also damage your teeth. Alcohol is a naturally dehydrating substance and so dries up your saliva. As a result, bacteria is allowed to cling uninhibited to your teeth and, with the extra sugar that alcohol provides, creates an environment in which those nasty little bacteria can thrive and damage the enamel of your teeth. As mentioned earlier, drinking water is an excellent option for combating bacteria. Chewing a sugar-free gum or sucking on a mint can also help keep your mouth wet.
Coffee and tea are the stereotypical causes of staining. However, red wine, sangria, and other alcoholic beverages can be just as damaging. The discoloration caused by alcohol can be long-lasting and accompanied by dullness as well. Though at the time, having lackluster teeth can seem like a “no big deal” during the night of drinking, often, seeing our pearly whites looking less than their best the next day can be disheartening. Drinking water the night of can help with staining; however, keeping up your daily dental care and perhaps taking a little extra care of your teeth can keep your teeth looking good all season long.
Though we absolutely don’t recommend that you completely abstain from the eats and treats of the season, we hope that your knowing a little bit more about the effects of alcohol on your teeth will help you better care for your smile.
Do Your Teeth Need Some TLC?
Need a family dentist in Glendale Heights? Dr. Patel and Dr. Khan of Glendale Heights Family Dental would love to help you keep your teeth looking their best this fall season with preventative dental care, as well as cosmetic treatments. Visit our website to learn more about our family dentists, the treatments we provide, and accepted methods of payment. Happy Fall!