You will be surrounded by many delicious foods that will make your mouth water over the next few weeks. It’s important to watch what you eat during the holidays to avoid tooth decay; however, certain beverages can also be bad news for your dental health. Here are 3 popular holiday drinks that can damage your smile.
1. Red Wine
Red wine is connected to certain health benefits, like blood pressure control. Unfortunately, it can come back to haunt your smile because it can stain your teeth. If you’ve ever spilled wine on your shirt, you know it is a difficult stain to remove. No amount of brushing will remove the discoloration.
Not to mention, it is acidic and contains sugar, which can erode your enamel. Once your enamel is gone, it won’t grow back. Alcohol also causes dehydration, which can make your mouth dry, increasing your risk of decay, infections, and bad breath.
Eggnog is a seasonal favorite, but it contains a lot of sugar, which feeds cavity-causing bacteria. If it contains alcohol, it’s a recipe for disaster. The effects of alcohol can lead to decreased saliva production, which allows harmful oral bacteria growth to increase.
The holidays are a busy time of the year. If you’re drinking more coffee to make it through the day, your teeth can discolor. Adding sugar or creamer to your coffee exposes your pearly whites to sugar, which can cause tooth decay.
Water is Always the Best
It’s always best to drink water whenever possible. Healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated. You’ll also keep your mouth moist to combat oral bacteria growth.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Besides switching to water, you can keep your mouth healthy during the holidays by following a few tips:
- Commit to Brushing and Flossing: Brush your teeth after every meal for 2 full minutes to remove food residue and plaque. Floss your teeth every day.
- Drink Using a Straw: Drink dark beverages through a straw to limit contact with your teeth. Rinse your mouth after you’ve finished.
- Chew Sugarless Gum: Chewing sugarless gum produces saliva to keep your mouth moist and clean.
Don’t forget to schedule your semi-annual cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and look their best. You won’t think twice before showing off your beautiful smile.
About Dr. James Kirby
Dr. Kirby attained his dental degree from the University of Tennessee and has regularly continued his education in cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. He strives to build personalized relationships with every patient to create healthy smiles that last. Request an appointment through his website or call (615) 552-1458.