Alcohol’s Effects On Your Oral Health
MOST PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW ALCOHOL affects their bodies, but we rarely talk about the effects on our oral health. As your orthodontic team, we want to make sure that your teeth are healthy under those braces. That’s why we want our adult patients (and the parents of our teenage ones) to know how alcohol affects your mouth—before all those holiday parties start.
Consider What You’re Drinking From Your Mouth’s Point Of View
- Acidity – Most alcoholic drinks are very acidic. This is especially true for drinks that are mixed using sodas and fruit juices. All of this acid can really eat away at your teeth.
- Staining – Red wine, especially, can stain your teeth.
- Extra Sugar – The bitterness in many alcoholic drinks is counteracted with extra sugar, which you may not even notice.
- Sipping Dangers – After an acidic, sugary drink your mouth works hard to re-establish its pH balance. If you’re sipping drinks over a long period of time, your mouth struggles even more to keep a good balance. It’s like a war zone all evening long.
Some Helpful Suggestions
Being more aware of these issues will help you be smart. Here are some ideas:
- After alcoholic drinks, and throughout the evening, rinse your mouth with water. Drinking more water will also help you avoid dehydration.
- Brush and floss before bed regardless of how tired you feel.
- Use your good sense and moderation for your safety and health.
Here’s One More Important Thought
Most people don’t know that regular drinking can spike your oral cancer risk. According to an American Cancer Society study a person who consumes alcohol is six times more likely to get oral cancer than someone who doesn’t consume alcohol, and 75-80% of patients with oral cancer are frequent alcohol users.
Oral cancer is a serious killer—so use your good judgment. And, make sure that you have regular oral cancer screenings.
Questions Or Comments?
Do you have any questions about alcohol’s impact on your oral health? Do you have any tips of your own about how to keep your teeth healthy during the holidays? Comment below or on our Facebook page! And if you ever have questions, please ask us.