Prosecco and Pink Gin – does alcohol effect our smiles?
The festive season is almost upon us which means for most of us a rise in social events and from time to time, maybe indulging in a drink or two. Over the past few years, Prosecco and Gin certainly have witnessed a revival, with supermarkets even stocking advent calendars full of the stuff so you can enjoy a tipple every day in the run up to Christmas, and we understand it may be needed after de-tangling those lights! But does alcohol have an effect on our smiles?
Hidden sugars in our drinks
Caveats are given regularly about alcohol’s effects on our body, including trouble sleeping, headaches and even increasing the risks of developing high blood pressure or liver disease. What we may not think of is that our favourite fizzy cocktail, cold pint or glass of red contains sugar, but according to Drinkaware, a glass of Cider could be hiding up to 5 teaspoons of sugar!
Sugar effects our teeth by becoming a food source for bacteria which produces enamel-wearing acids. If consumed every now and again, or with meals, sugary foods and drinks are not a problem, however if you’re having several glasses of fizz over the evening on a regular basis- this may increase the risk of acid erosion and even cavities.
The below video from the Oral Health Foundation demonstrates the power of sugary drinks on our smiles –
Dehydration and discolouration
As alcohol is a diuretic, it will over time cause you to become more dehydrated, potentially leaving you with a dry mouth, amongst other effects. A dry mouth can negatively impact on your oral health as there is not as much saliva being produced. Saliva helps in the fight against tooth decay by neutralising bacteria in the mouth. Saliva also helps us to eat and if you have a dry mouth, you may be likelier to have bad breath .
Our top tips for keeping your smile healthy whilst still enjoying a tipple –
- Use a straw to drink – you can find some great eco-friendly reusable straws online.
- Drink plenty of water whilst drinking alcohol.
- Chew sugar free chewing gum – this will help to produce acid- neutralising saliva.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste and spit, don’t rinse!
- Attend your dentist regularly for check-ups.
- Try sugar-free or reduced sugar alternatives to mixers.
For more information or dental advice, please find your nearest Centre for Dentistry practice or contact our central Patient Care Team on 0333 0162 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book an appointment online or via the app.