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Don’t Let These Three Holiday Libations Lead to Dental Destruction

December 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbeaty @ 11:47 pm
Red wine

The holiday season is here again to draw friends and family together. Feasting and drinking are appropriate for many celebrations, and the holidays all have their traditional beverages to help get everyone in the spirit of the season. However, a few of these favorite potable treats can be dangerous for your teeth if they aren’t consumed in moderation or if the drinker does not practice proper oral hygiene. Here are a few traditional brews to go easy on during holiday gatherings.

Red Wine Can Leave Purplish Stains on Your Teeth

Red wine is renowned for its acidic bite, its rich, dark color, and its pairing amazingly well with beef. Red wine has been a favorite beverage for celebrations for thousands of years, but it can have the unfortunate side effect of purplish dental stains if you’re not careful. When you drink red wine, the acids it contains begin weakening your enamel on contact, making it easier for its pigments to become bound to your teeth. The problem is even worse if the patient does not practice proper oral hygiene, as the pigments can get stuck in plaque deposits as well.

Hot Chocolate Is Heavy on the Sugar

Hot chocolate is celebrated as a delightful wintertime beverage that can really warm someone up on a cold night. This creamy, sweet, warm treat might be a sure way to please everyone ice skating at the pond, but it’s also rich in sugars that can feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Unfortunately, drinking hot chocolate can coat your teeth in a sugary residue, and neglecting your oral hygiene afterward can lead to cavities forming.

Eggnog Is Sugary and Acidic

There is perhaps no beverage more associated with the holiday season than eggnog. While this cocktail might taste like the spirit of the season, it’s also heavy on sugars and acidic alcohol. When you drink eggnog, you can expose your teeth to enamel-weakening acid while coating your mouth in a germ-breeding sugary residue.

You don’t have to avoid these drinks completely. Just make sure you enjoy them in moderation, practice proper oral hygiene every day, and drink them alongside a glass of water. Drinking water can help wash sugars, acids, pigments, and food debris away from your teeth while stimulating saliva flow, helping your mouth clean itself and preventing infections and dental damage.

About the Author

Dr. Drew Beaty earned his dental degree at Northwestern University in Chicago and has completed all nine levels of postgraduate education at the prestigious Kois Center for Dental Excellence in Seattle. He takes over one hundred hours of continuing education every year, far exceeding the amount required by the Washington State Department of Health. His office in Federal Way, WA offers general, cosmetic, pediatric, restorative, and emergency dentistry. For more information on keeping your teeth healthy during the holidays, contact his office online or dial (253) 839-6544.

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