After the excesses of the Festive period, many people consider taking part in Dry January. Not only does this give our liver a break, but it will have a positive impact on our oral health too.
Alcoholic drinks, such as white wine and beer, can be very acidic. Acids can cause erosion of the enamel on our teeth, leading to pain and sensitivity. Many alcoholic drinks also contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Just one pint of lager or two large glasses of wine can contain a quarter of our recommended daily sugar intake. Bad bacteria can also build up in our mouth due to reduced saliva flow, contributing to tooth decay and bad breath.
Drinking alcohol to excess is also linked to one in three mouth cancers. Mouth cancer diagnoses have risen dramatically over the last two decades, and are predicted to continue rising. A reduction in alcohol intake could have a big impact on the number of cases of the disease.
Whilst cutting alcohol out completely will, no doubt, have a positive impact on your oral health, there are ways to find a balance between drinking and a healthy mouth:
· Drink water after an alcoholic drink
This will help to balance the pH levels in our mouth and wash some of the sugar away
· Keep alcohol confined to mealtimes
By keeping our alcohol intake to mealtimes, we are minimising the number of acid attacks on our teeth
· Use mouthwash
Mouthwash will help to wash away acidic substances. It may also provide added protection from further acid attacks