ORANGE CITY AND DELTONA, FL
It has been a hard day at work, and you are looking forward to your five o’clock happy hour with your friends or co-workers. Although you may be of legal age to partake in consuming alcohol, it could be damaging to your oral health. The occasional alcoholic beverage at a special occasion or a few times a month should not cause extensive damage to your teeth if you take proper care after consumption of your alcoholic beverage. Dr. Terry Soule, a general dentist in DeBary, wants you to be aware of how five o’clock happy hour could be wrecking your teeth and how you can reduce the damage by taking action after drinking.
Alcohol is Acidic
Although it is common to think that only fruity cocktails are the culprit of high levels of acidity, all alcohol is acidic, which erodes the enamel on your teeth, potentially increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity and tooth decay. When you consume large amounts of alcohol without food or brushing your teeth shortly after drinking, the effects of the acid could worsen. This is especially the case if you have been out for a heavy night of drinking and go to bed without brushing your teeth.
To help you understand the acidity in alcohol a little better, you need to know how pH balance works and the effect it can have on your oral health. Regular water has a neutral pH balance of seven on a scale from zero to 14. The numbers below seven are more acidic. Closer to 14 is alkaline. So, with seven being neutral, water is the perfect balancing agent.
Keep in mind that anything causing the pH balance in your mouth to drop below 5.5 could cause problems for your teeth, adding more expenses to your dental bill when visiting your dentist in Deltona. For example, a popular gin and tonic measures a pH of about two, and therefore, could cause severe damage to the enamel on your teeth.
If you do not consume alcohol, you are not invincible to the pH balance equation. Fizzy drinks such as soda can also cause severe damage to your tooth’s enamel as it measures between 2.5 and 3.5, making thees beverages highly acidic. However, it is not just fizzy drinks that cause damage as fruit juices also fall below the pH balance recommended to maintain a healthy mouth. When you add soda or juice to alcohol, it will compound the acidity level and potentially cause more damage.
Minimize the Damage
If your five o’clock happy hour is the highlight of your day, and you can not seem to give it up, consider consuming your beverage through a straw to limit the exposure of the alcohol, soda, or juice to your teeth. Also, drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages to rebalance the pH in your mouth and rinse the acids and sugars away from your teeth.
Although you may think brushing your teeth immediately after consuming an alcoholic beverage would be the best choice, think again. When brushing your teeth, you could spread the acids to other teeth creating additional damage. Therefore, drink a glass of water after you are done consuming alcohol and wait approximately 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to reduce the risk of causing more damage.
Dentist in DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City
Terry Soule, DDS understands that enjoying an adult beverage is quite common for some. However, when you choose to drink, please do so in moderation not only for your overall health and safety but for your oral health as well. If you would like to know more about how acid affects your teeth, feel free to contact our Orange City dentist office at (386) 775-1552 or request an appointment by visiting our website.