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Cinco de Drinko: How Alcohol Affects Teeth

It’s no secret that Cinco de Mayo is one of the more alcohol-heavy holidays. When we think about drinking responsibly, most of the time we consider consequences like how alcohol impairs our abilities to speak clearly, walk a straight line, and even drive a car. One thing we don’t talk about as frequently is the way that consumption affects our dental health.

Here’s how alcohol affects teeth:

1. Drinks with Too Much Sugar are Toxic

There’s a reason why you can’t taste the tequila in your Cinco de Mayo margarita, and it’s the sugar content. Alcoholic drinks can sometimes contain more than your daily amount of sugar in just one serving. Our advice: skip the bottled mixes and prep your marg with fresh lime, tequila, and triple-sec for a sugar-free alternative. 

2. Alcoholic Drinks are Acidic

Pure alcohol on its own doesn’t damage teeth, but beer, liquor, and mixed drinks that have high sugar content and acidity can break down the enamel and lead to cavities, tooth decay, and increased risk of periodontal disease.

3. Alcoholic Affects Your Memory

Drinking too much can impair our ability to remember to do important things, like brushing our teeth. Make sure that you drink responsibly this holiday, and maybe set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to take care of your smile at the end of the day.

4. Alcohol Erodes Soft Tissue

Too much alcohol can erode the soft tissue in our mouths, like our gums. When these tissues erode, the no longer are able to properly support or protect our teeth.

5. Alcohol Decreases Saliva Production

Drinking too much on a regular basis can decrease saliva production. This can cause problems because our saliva is a natural antibacterial cleanser that washes away plaque and bacteria. Less saliva and a drier mouth are a recipe for higher risk of oral diseases.

6. Certain Drinks Stain Your Teeth

Certain drinks, especially the darker-colored ones, can stain your teeth. Ever had a glass of red wine and noticed that your teeth have a pinkish-red hue afterward? Our advice is to make sure that you brush soon after drinking to prevent staining. 

 

While drinking responsibly can be fun, it’s important to stay educated about the effects of alcohol on our bodies. Whether it’s how it impairs or ability to function or how it can impact our dental health, it’s always good to be in the know. 

From our team here at Ellicott Mills Dental, we wish everyone a happy and safe Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

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