Is Alcohol Bad for Your Teeth?

Your teeth are durable and fragile, all at once. They can bite into crunchy baguettes, and they can rot away with sugary candy. What about alcohol though? Is alcohol bad for teeth? Read on to learn how you can protect your smile.

Many Alcoholic Beverages May Stain Your Teeth

Staining is one of the biggest complaints alcohol drinkers face. This is especially true if you drink dark beer or red wine. These dark color liquids can stain teeth just as much as coffee, so it’s important to brush your teeth after drinking. Of course, brushing your teeth may be the last thing you want to do on a fun night out. But it needs to be a priority.

Sugar in Alcohol Can Feed Tooth-Decaying Bacteria

The bacteria that eats away at your teeth relies heavily on leftover food and sugars. If you consume mixed drinks or any sugary alcoholic beverages, you may be putting your teeth at risk. Once again, brushing your teeth can get rid of that food source to keep the bacteria at bay.

Alcohol May Lead to Dry Mouth

This is a side effect you may not have thought about. Alcohol can cause dehydration and dry mouth. Not only is this uncomfortable to experience, but it can cause bad breath and tooth decay.

The saliva in your mouth helps flush away food, sugars, and bacteria. If your mouth isn’t sufficiently producing saliva, those elements are left to wear away at your teeth. Some medicines may also cause dry mouth, and the side effects may become worse with alcohol. Drink plenty of water with your alcohol consumption to combat these risks.

How to Protect Your Teeth from Alcohol Damage

You don’t have to avoid alcohol entirely to protect your teeth. You should, however, be aware of the risks and take steps to prevent them.

Brush your teeth about 20 minutes after you’ve consumed your last alcoholic beverage. If you don’t have time to brush right away, rinse your mouth with water and continue drinking water throughout the night. Brush and floss as soon as possible to keep stains and decay to a minimum.

As always, see your dentist at least once a year for routine checkups and tooth decay prevention. To schedule an appointment with Clinton Dental Center, please contact (586) 949-5363.