There is never a shortage of myths on the internet. One of the latest is that alcohol consumption is actually good for your teeth and gums. Is there any truth to this? Your dentist in Medford says it’s time to clear the air. So you can protect your smile, here is some information that debunks 5 myths about alcohol’s effect on your oral health!
Myth #1 – Alcohol Has Hydrating Effects
Nothing could be further from the truth. Alcohol is known for contributing to dehydration and dry mouth syndrome. The latter can negatively impact your oral health, as a dry mouth leaves you more vulnerable to increased oral bacteria growth and plaque development.
Myth #2 – You Can Cleanse Your Teeth with Alcohol
The glycemic index is a scale that rates how fast certain foods and beverages convert to glucose (sugar in its simplest form) when consumed. The scale, which has a maximum rating of 110, has alcohol near the top. That’s not good for your oral health, but why? Because it rapidly increases your blood sugar levels, alcohol consumption can contribute to the development of gum disease, a condition that affects over half the adult population in America.
Myth #3 – Adding Citrus to Alcoholic Beverages Boosts Your Oral Health
As if consuming alcoholic beverages isn’t bad enough, adding an acidic element like citrus only makes matters worse. Citrus can potentially have corrosive effects, leaving you vulnerable to enamel wear, cavities and other issues.
Myth #4 – Drinking Beer Won’t Stain Your Teeth
Beer is acidic, but that’s not the only danger it poses to your oral health. It also contains dark barley and malts that can stain your teeth and negatively impact your smile aesthetics.
Myth #5 – Alcohol Consumption and Poor Oral Health aren’t Related
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consuming 15 or more alcoholic beverages a week is considered heavy drinking for men, while eight or more drinks qualifies as the same for women. People who fall into these categories are at a much greater risk of developing cavities, gum disease, oral cancer and other issues.
Play It Safe
While it’s perfectly normal to indulge in an alcoholic beverage from time-to-time, there is reason to exercise moderation. It’s also important to practice excellent dental hygiene, which should include brushing and flossing at least two times a day. Just be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming an alcoholic beverage to clean your teeth. Otherwise, you could damage your tooth enamel. By finding a way to balance alcohol and oral health, you can protect your smile for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino is a graduate of the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. For over 30 years, he has remained committed to providing the highest quality dental care to meet his patients many needs and smile desires. A member of the Massachusetts Dental Society, International College of Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and several other professional organizations, Dr. Giamberardino creates healthy and beautiful smiles at Giamberardino Dental Care, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.