Do you ever wonder how your favorite adult beverages affect your teeth?
If you enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink, you’re not alone. In recent years, studies estimated that at least 56.9 percent of Americans drink at least once per month. With over half of the US population consuming alcoholic beverages on a regular basis, there’s more importance than ever in knowing how it affects your health, oral and otherwise. Check out the ways that your favorite types of alcoholic beverages can take a toll on your smile.
Although beer, wine, and liquor are all alcoholic beverages, they’re made from different ingredients and will have drastically different effects on your smile. For example, beer is made from hops and barley, and ends up very acidic, whereas wine is derived from grapes and is one of the biggest causes of teeth staining. Understanding how these beverages are made can reveal a lot about the impact they make on your smile.
Americans consume over six billion gallons of beer every year. As the most readily available alcoholic beverage, beer is found in many mainstream locations, including restaurants, fairs, and festivals. While beer isn’t the most potent of the alcoholic beverages, it can take a toll on both your waistline and your smile.
In addition to sugar, acid is the other component that harms your teeth and contributes to decay. Certain foods have a lot of these acids, and beer is a beverage that is filled with acids that can cling to your teeth and erode your enamel. To avoid dental damage from beer, drinking water at the same time and brushing your teeth afterward will mitigate much of the oral health risks.
Considered the classier and more sophisticated way to enjoy alcohol, wine is comprised of crushed grapes. Red wines are typically more bold and bitter in flavor than their white counterparts. Often more potent than beer, wine typically has one quarter the alcohol of stronger liquors. The distinction is made between red and white wine because red wine has unique characteristics that stain your teeth.
Red wine has earned a lot of attention for its ingredients that provide significant benefits for the heart. While red wine in moderation can yield excellent cardiovascular benefits, it’s considered one of the biggest teeth-stainers in existence. Various factors play a role in how susceptible you are to stained teeth, but regular wine drinkers stand a high risk of staining. If your smile has been darkened, speak to Dr. Golly about a professional teeth whitening treatment that can restore its brightness.
White wines are often sweeter than reds, especially the dessert wines known as rieslings. White wine lacks the staining-potential of red wine but is actually a lot more acidic. As in the case with beer, the acid from white wine corrodes the enamel of your teeth. The most acidic wines are the aforementioned rieslings, because they rate the lowest on the pH scale and therefore, pose the biggest threat to your teeth.
Liquors are the most potent alcoholic beverages and they include whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin. Since these beverages typically contain at least 40 percent alcohol, they have a tendency to cause dry mouth, depriving you of saliva. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense system against plaque and debris, and without it, your mouth is left vulnerable to various dental problems.
While there are cocktails that have nothing to do with sugary syrups, juices, and sodas, most of them are sweet and have sugar that negatively impacts your smile. When people order a cocktail, they are most likely sipping on it throughout the course of their night. From a dental standpoint, this means they’re coating their teeth in sugar and acids from the alcohol. Minimize damage from cocktails by taking a drink of water in between sips and remembering proper oral care at home.
One of the most important things to know about dental problems is that they are easiest to treat when they’re caught early. If your teeth or gums have sustained damage from alcohol or any other reason, your best chance at restoring your smile is to act fast. Dr. Golly will examine your unique situation and design a treatment plan that is ideal for you. Don’t wait until symptoms get worse – Contact our team at All About Smiles today!