The Best and Worst Alcoholic Drinks for Good Oral Health
You may like to have a drink every now and then just to take the edge off, but it’s important to remember that even drinking in moderation can have impacts on your overall health. While you may have been discouraged because of implications to your digestive or renal systems, alcohol can also affect your oral health significantly. This isn’t to dissuade you from drinking, but here’s what to know about the booze you enjoy and its impact on your teeth.
While there is acidity in beer, there are some styles that are easier on your mouth in the long run than others. An American light lager, for example, is among the best for oral health. Bud Light and Coors Light are perhaps the most commonly known brands of American light lagers, known for a clean, crisp finish, without feeling weighed down by bitterness or heavy flavors and aroma linked to IPAs and stouts. As these light lagers carry little in terms of other flavors, this refrains from staining the teeth.
Tooth decay has been linked to alcohol use, and that’s brought on by high sugar content. Stouts tend to be among the more sugary brews, along with wheat beers that also may have a high acid level with the heavy use of citrus in the brewing process. To better oral health, try to get sips of water in between sips of alcohol, especially darker beers that have the ability to stain teeth. This will also cut through the sweetness of the beer, as well as the bitterness that you may experience from certain IPAs.
Having a glass of wine with dinner is quite common, but you may have had those moments where you look like a vampire after enjoying a glass of red wine. Merlot, pinot noir, and the other usual suspects can lead to significant staining of the teeth. These wines also come with a significant dryness that wears on the palate over time. Saliva keeps teeth moist and helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface. Drinking water while enjoying any style of wine can help you balance that out. However, red wine in some studies has been shown to kill certain bacteria in the mouth.
While white wines like chardonnay and pinot grigio won’t stain your teeth and gums as easily, you still have to deal with a level of acidity that can kill tooth enamel. White wine’s acidity can break down the enamel and leave your teeth more vulnerable to staining and rot from other foods and drinks. That’s why you may be surprised by the amount of staining on your teeth after switching from white to red while out drinking. The white wine is effectively acting as a primer for the pigments and tannins of red wine.
The amount of sugar in liquors can do significant damage in facets of your overall health. With mixed drinks and sugary cocktails, you’re dealing with staining, nerve sensitivity triggered by high carbonation, and the potential for rot or tooth decay from excessive sweetness. Rum is on the higher end of the sugar spectrum, along with tequila stemming from natural agave plants. Vodka tends to be the most neutral, but the pH level when mixed with an acid like lemons or limes can have just as much impact on a healthy smile.
Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene is key whether it’s your natural teeth or a brand new smile. Dental surgery and implants from providers like Teeth-In-A-Day Smile Restorations in Norton Shores, MI can address any dental issues you are currently facing and direct you toward healthy teeth or suggest veneers and implants that will let your smile shine bright. Regular dentist visits are highly recommended but don’t hesitate to get in the chair if you’re dealing with a toothache, a dark stain, or even more significant pain.