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Did you know that Americans spend $90 billion on alcohol every year? While alcohol consumption is not uncommon, if it isn’t consumed responsibly, you could actually damage your smile, teeth, and gums. For instance, while it is fairly well known that red wine can stain your teeth, this is not the only damage you may experience because of alcoholic beverages.

You see, alcoholic beverages are acidic, meaning they can wear down your enamel—which is the protective, outer layer of your teeth. Sadly, just as smoking or eating too much sugar, drinking too much can cause several dental issues.

One reason alcohol is harmful is that it dries out your mouth. The saliva in your mouth washes away bad bacteria and excess food particles. However, if your mouth is dry, your mouth may not be able to produce saliva. Ultimately, this can also lead to your enamel softening.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking alcohol entirely, but there are a few things you can do to mitigate the negative effects of drinking alcohol. For instance, we recommend drinking plenty of water after an alcoholic beverage to rinse out your mouth. Similarly, you should limit soda and alcohol since they can cause more issues. Finally, please don’t brush your teeth for at least twenty minutes after you’ve had an alcoholic drink.

If you have any questions about alcohol consumption and how it affects your teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact Kenai Dental Clinic at 907-283-4875. Dr. Glen Lockwood and our team look forward to hearing from you soon.