May 12, 2006, Newsletter Issue #15: Alcohol and Your Teeth

Tip of the Week

One tequila, two tequilas, three tequilas…cavity?

Although pure alcohol won’t damage your teeth, the sugar content in most alcoholic drinks, including beer, can really damage your enamel. Some beverages, such as sweet wines or mixed drinks involving sodas or citrus juices, can be even worse, adding a high acidity to the equation.

Since it would be a damper to eliminate tasty beverages and fun Friday nights from your life just to avoid a couple extra cavities, there are a few things you can do to help lessen the partying damage to your teeth.

First and foremost, as part of your individual dental plan it is important to brush and floss your teeth before going to bed, no matter what you did during the day. If you find that you often forget to do this after your night out, leave your toothbrush on your pillow before hitting the town. That little reminder will help you spend the minute or two before passing out for the evening. Furthermore, chewing sugarless gum between drinks or on the way home, as well as swishing some water around your mouth, will help increase saliva flow, rinse away sugars, and decrease the latent acid content of your mouth, further decreasing the total damage done to your teeth.

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