Christmas and New Year can often be a busy time of festive parties and evenings out that include drinking alcohol. We are not saying bah humbug to having a good time but please do consider your teeth!
The main threats to your teeth from alcoholic drinks are their high sugar content and acidity.
The sugars create a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque, while the acids can cause erosion of your tooth enamel, making them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.
Research also tells us that drinking alcohol to excess is linked to around a third of all cases of mouth cancers.
Those who mix alcohol with energy drinks should be especially careful because theses can contain up to 16 teaspoons of sugar per pint and have higher acid levels than most other fizzy drinks – even the diet versions.
What can I do to help?
* Swish water around your mouth after each alcoholic drink to rinse away any sugars. (Drinking water will also keep you hydrated and this will help you avoid a hangover.)
* Chew sugar-free chewing gum during the evening and on your way home to help stimulate saliva flow. This will help clear the mouth of harmful sugars and acid.
* After a night out, brush your teeth before you go to bed for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Remember to leave about an hour after your last alcoholic drink before you brush.
One of the best ways of keeping your mouth, teeth and gums in the peak of health is to visit your dentist and hygienist regularly, at least every six months. If you have any concerns, please give us a ring, or ask next time you visit and our team will be happy to help.