April 11, 2021
Do you enjoy a refreshing beer at the end of the day? While it’s OK to drink alcohol occasionally, frequent alcohol consumption can be damaging. Not only are there adverse complications for your general health, but beer can also harm your smile. How does beer affect your teeth? Here’s what you need to know to safeguard your smile from alcohol.
Your teeth naturally change color over the years as your enamel thins, causing more of your yellowish dentin to be visible. Beer can lead to premature discoloration. Your teeth may appear brown or yellow, which can make you look years older than your true age.
Your enamel is the hard outer layer of your tooth that protects the softer underlying layers. Although it is the hardest substance in your body, it isn’t indestructible. Beer can eat away at your enamel, which can lead to discoloration, but that isn’t the only concern. As you lose enamel, you’ll have an increased risk of tooth sensitivity. Darker malt beers are generally more acidic than lighter ones, so it’s best to reduce how often you drink them.
Besides tooth decay, gum disease is equally devastating for your smile. Although it is preventable, it is the leading cause of tooth loss. Since beer contains sugar, it combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed with proper brushing and flossing habits, it will harden and turn to tartar, which can cause the infection. If you consume alcohol excessively, it can also affect your immune system, making it more difficult to treat the infection once it has occurred.
If you tend to drink your beer from a bottle, you can have an increased risk of a chipped tooth if you accidentally hit it with the glass. Opening cans with your teeth can also cause chips and cracks. If you use your teeth as tools regularly, it can lead to an unexpected dental emergency.
Protect Your Teeth from Beer
If you can’t skip drinking beer, it’s best to take certain precautions to protect your smile from unnecessary complications:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste.
- Use high-quality dental floss to clean between each tooth daily.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
- Don’t use your teeth to open cans or bottles.
- Rinse your mouth with water after finishing your beer.
With a few simple changes, you can preserve your smile while enjoying your alcoholic drink.
About Dr. Jack B. Share
Dr. Share earned his dental degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and has completed advanced training in prosthetics and general anesthesia. He is a contributor to various dental textbooks and has authored several professional journals due to his experience and qualifications. Contact our office today to benefit from an outstanding dentist with over 40 years of experience.
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