Is Happy Hour Harming Your Teeth?

Is Happy Hour Harming Your Teeth?

At Sonora Dentist, Dr. Paul Berger is always looking for ways to help educate his patients on how to maintain and improve the health of their teeth and gums. While most of Dr. Berger’s patients understand that the biggest risk to their oral health comes from the amount of sugar they consume and whether or not they practice quality oral hygiene, we all face hidden dangers daily that can negatively impact our teeth and gums.

One example of a potentially harmful habit is happy hour. If you read our last post, you already know that the sugar in alcohol can have a negative impact on your oral health. But that’s not all. Depending on what you’re drinking, happy hour can hurt your teeth in other ways, as well.

Happy Hour Tips for Your Teeth

If you typically order a glass of wine to help you unwind at the end of the day, you might occasionally worry about your favorite California red staining your teeth. But tooth discoloration isn’t the only downside to drinking wine: The acid in wine can actually eat away at your tooth enamel too, leaving you at a higher risk of developing tooth pain, sensitivity and cavities.

In fact, the damage caused by the acids in wine may actually happen faster than you might think. According to a new study published in the Australian Dental Journal just 10 one-minute wine tasting sessions can significantly weaken tooth enamel. And while you may not taste wine as much as frequently sipping it during happy hour, all it takes is just a few minutes of prolonged exposure to cause long-term damage.

To protect your teeth from your Pinot habit, order a glass of water along with your wine. When you finish your wine, just gently swish the water around in your mouth to help rinse away any acids that are clinging to your teeth. Make sure to order flat or still water, as some brands of sparkling water contain acids that can make the problem worse.

Another handy tip, try snacking on cheese between sips of wine. Cheese is alkaline, so it can help neutralize the acids found in wine, preventing them from causing any damage to your teeth.

Oral Hygiene the Key

If you’re particularly worried about the long-term state of your oral health, make sure to practice quality oral hygiene on a daily basis. The American Dental Association considers proper oral hygiene as brushing for at two minutes twice a day and flossing daily.

However, you want to avoid brushing immediately after drinking wine or any other beverage, such as soda or orange juice, that contains a high level of acidity. Brushing immediately after while your enamel is still weak can cause additional damage to occur. Just rinse after drinking as described above and wait to brush till later in the evening. That you can’t brush immediately after drinking wine is one reason why you shouldn’t drink the beverage right before heading off to bed.

If you are looking for the best in Sonora dentists or have any other questions regarding how you can protect your teeth during happy hour feel free to ask Dr. Berger during your next appointment to Sonora Dentist.

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