Watching your alcohol intake during the festive season

download (1)With many of us out and about enjoying festive celebrations it’s important that we remember to look after our oral health and that includes are sugar and alcohol intake.

Earlier this year the Daily Mail featured an article about the risks that wine and other alcoholic beverages can pose to your oral health. It included health drawbacks of different forms of alcoholic drinks, with a study discussing how alcohol can cause acid erosion and increase your risk of getting oral cancer.

Here are some tips to make sure that your health isn’t hindered by alcohol:

Acid Erosion

Alcohol is naturally acidic which is why it’s important that we limit the amount of acid that we get on our teeth as this can contribute to acid erosion, which strips the enamel leaving them open to sensitivity.

Drinking in moderation, as part of a balanced diet, is unlikely to do you significant harm as long as you maintain a good level of dental hygiene.

Why not try limiting the damage by the following:

After a night out, brush and floss your teeth before going to bed. However tempting it might be just to crawl into bed and stay there until the next afternoon. Forgetting to do this will leave your teeth open to a build-up of plaque, potentially resulting in tooth decay.

While you’re drinking alcohol or sugary drinks try to swish a mouthful of water around every so often to increase the saliva flow and rinse away sugars and acid in your mouth.

Make sure that you don’t brush your teeth straight after a drink as this can actually do more harm than good as it disrupts the enamel’s natural process. Instead, wait at least half an hour after your last drink as this will give your softened enamel time to re-harden.

Oral Cancer

Excessive alcohol consumption has also been identified as a major risk factor for mouth cancer, especially when combined with smoking. Alcohol is only a contributing factor in those who regularly drink more than the recommended units. There’s no need to cut out alcohol altogether, as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly and effectively as recommended by your hygienist. As long as you drink sensibly this Christmas and follow the above advice, there’s no need to worry.

Have you booked your dental appointment recently call 0114 350 3180.