Evolve Dentistry | Dentist in Portishead, Somerset

24 Harbour Road Portishead BS20 7AL

24 Harbour Road Portishead BS20 7AL

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A tipsy smile can be a healthy smile

The sun is shining. Your flip-flops are on. You are craving a drink. Summer is here and everywhere smells of barbecues, sun-cream and freshly cut grass. It is also the time for long days and late evenings enjoying alcoholic drinks.

With Alcohol Awareness Week (3rd – 9th July) around the corner, it is important to be wary of alcohol consumption. Wine, in particular, can be very damaging to your oral health. Knowing the do’s and don’ts for drinking wine will keep that summer smile bright.

Sparkling wine may not be fine…

Everyone loves clinking a glass of sparkling wine at a garden party. But that sweet taste comes from the highly acidic mixture of alcohol, sugar and carbonation. This is a danger to your teeth, as an unregulated intake of it can cause dental erosion. Prosecco accounts for 45% of UK sparkling wine sales and has seen continued growth in the 2020s. But, cases of ‘Prosecco Teeth’ are also on the rise. The drink is 200 times more acidic than what is needed for your tooth enamel (the harder outer layer) to break down. When white lines form on the gums, tooth decay is beginning.

Do not worry – you can still enjoy a glass of bubbly on your deckchair! Using a straw will stop the acidic alcohol touching your teeth as much, and what is the harm in having a swish of water between glasses to wash your mouth out?

Avoiding the Dracula look

You should be careful drinking red wine because of its effect on your teeth. Red wine turns your pearly whites into beetroot-coloured teeth in a matter of sips. Small compounds called tannins bind the purple pigments to your teeth and wine’s acidity will damage the enamel.

Preventing staining is simple. Having water with red wine can protect your teeth from the acid by defending the enamel. Dairy products, like cheese, are good to have with wine because of their calcium compounds. These promote the strengthening of enamel and help neutralise the acidity of the mouth. If you know you will be having a glass or two of red wine, brush and floss your teeth beforehand to remove any plaque. Plaque attracts staining compounds and causes tooth decay, so ensure your mouth is as clean as possible before uncorking that merlot.

Dry mouth

Wines are not the only enemy of oral health. Hyposalivation, or dry mouth, can be caused by the intake of any alcoholic drink. Saliva is immensely important to your oral health: it washes bacteria and food particles off the teeth, neutralises harmful acids, and repairs weak tooth enamel.

The combination of a hot summer’s day and a high alcohol intake can lead to dehydration and oral dryness. With insufficient saliva, your mouth loses one of its best defences and tooth enamel will weaken. You will be vulnerable to oral health risks. Drinking lots of water will also help beat dry mouth by keeping you hydrated. It may help beat the hangover, too. Chewing sugar-free gum will also get your saliva flowing on the hot, boozy days of the summer.

Relaxing with a drink is no bad way to spend the summer, but make sure that you have enough water and a consistent oral hygiene routine to protect your teeth. And maybe some gum.

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Evolve Dentistry | Dentist in Portishead, Somerset

24 Harbour Road Portishead BS20 7AL

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