National Wine Day
Wine lovers can rejoice: May 25 is National Wine Day. There are not many things as enjoyable as relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But when it comes to taking care of your teeth, alcohol can cause some real damage.
Alcohol can affect not just your teeth but also your gums. This doesn’t mean it should be totally off the menu at all times! It simply means that if you decide to imbibe, you should take a few extra precautions to keep your mouth safe and healthy.
How Does Alcohol Damage Your Teeth?
You may think that alcohol hurts your teeth and gums because it is high in sugar. While that is true, it is not the only issue. Alcohol causes dehydration, which leads to a reduction of saliva. A dry mouth is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Excessive drinking raises your risk of gum bleeding, an early indication of gum disease, even if you don’t already have periodontitis. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop gum disease. But it certainly is a warning sign and one that you shouldn’t take lightly.
A big problem with dark alcohol like red wine is that it can cause staining on your enamel. This is not a health problem, but it is a cosmetic one. However, many types of alcohol do eat away at your enamel because of high sugar or acid content.
How Should You Protect Your Teeth From Alcohol Damage?
There are a few ways to protect your teeth from alcohol damage. However, the reality is that they are fairly straightforward. If you are concerned about damage to your teeth from alcohol, consider limiting how much and how often you drink.
Aside from avoiding alcohol, the best way to protect your teeth is to establish a solid oral hygiene routine. This means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes. Make small circles with your toothbrush, making sure to brush away from your gumline.
Floss at least once a day before brushing. This ensures that you loosen bacteria and food particles from between your teeth. Since between your teeth is a prime place for cavities to form, it is vital to clean those spaces regularly. Of course, you should also use a fluoride-based toothpaste and follow up with mouthwash.
If you are concerned about staining from alcohol, there are also treatments you can find, but tread carefully. Some tooth-whitening products can cause tooth sensitivity. If you want to remove stains from alcohol (or other foods), the best thing to do is ask your doctor about professional whitening procedures.
Of course, you should also schedule regular dentist’s appointments every six months. These will include a cleaning and inspecting for cavities, decay, or gum disease. You can also ask your dentist about the best way to protect your teeth from alcohol. If you are taking care of your teeth in general, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a glass of wine on National Wine Day!