With the start of the New Year comes the resolutions and for many, this means a month off the alcohol. Whether you’re taking part in Dry January and doing it for charity, or if you’re just doing it for yourself, there are lots of health benefits to taking a break from the booze.
Alcoholic drinks can be both acidic and sugary, especially if mixed with soft drinks, and this can cause acid erosion on tooth enamel (the hard protective layer on your teeth) – leading to tooth decay.
Alcohol is also dehydrating and reduces saliva flow, lessening its ability to neutralise harmful acids in the mouth, and speeding up plaque formation leading to tooth decay.
However, what about your teeth and gums when the ‘dry’ month is over?
Well, there are a couple a ways to help look after your oral health:
- Drinking a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated helps with saliva flow, slowing the process of plaque formation
- Keep track of how much you drink and make sure you’re not exceeding the daily unit guidelines – 2-3 units per day for a woman, 3-4 units per day for a man
- Whenever possible, drink acidic alcoholic drinks through a straw. This limits the amount of contact the alcohol actually has with your teeth and gums, thereby limiting the damage it will do
So, we wish you well and here’s to Dry January giving you a healthier mouth!