Effects of Alcohol on Oral Health

New results have revealed that only 16% of people have considered the effects of alcohol on their oral health.

Most alcoholic drinks are very acidic, with many sparkling drinks as acidic as orange juice. One of the worst culprits is dry, sparkling wine such as prosecco or champagne; the bubbles in them are caused by acidic carbon dioxide. It is recommended that you choose less acidic, flat wine, particularly if you’re regularly indulging in an alcoholic beverage.

Fruit ciders are also a big no-no. Not only do they contain bubbles, but they’re generally loaded with sugar to produce a sweet, flavoured taste. Red wine and port are similarly drinks to avoid, along with cranberry juice and blackcurrant cordial. Coffee based drinks are also quite damaging to your teeth and can often result in unsightly staining.

Cocktails are often a bad choice too; they’re often full of sugar and flavourings that can encourage tooth decay.

So what can you drink?

It may come as a surprise, but beer is actually not too bad for your oral health. It contains quite a lot of calcium, which encourages the hardening of the enamel on teeth.

If you fancy a spirit, add plenty of ice to your drink as it will help dilute the damaging effects and consider picking a creamy drink, such as Baileys to reduce the acidic content.

Straight whisky or vodka is fairly low on the acid scale and there is the added bonus of mixing the spirit with still water.

If you do need a mixer, go for a diet cola or a slimline tonic. Although they are quite acidic, they are sugar free so are your best option.

If you do have a sugary drink, it is advisable to wait at least half an hour before brushing teeth to allow the surface of the enamel to harden. It’s also helpful to use a straw, helping sugary and acidic liquids to avoid the majority of your teeth on the way down!

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