It’s important to be aware of how the things you eat and drink can change your teeth for better or worse. For example, you may have heard that wine can leave stains on your enamel if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, it’s not the only alcoholic beverage that can have a negative impact on your smile; beer can also cause problems when consumed in excess. How does beer affect your teeth? And what can you do to protect your mouth?
How Does Beer Affect Oral Health?
Beer is a darkly colored acidic beverage, and as such it can affect the smile in the following ways:
- Tooth Discoloration: The more beer you drink, the more likely you are to see yellowish or brownish stains on your teeth. Artificially colored green brews can cause even worse discoloration.
- Enamel Loss: Since beer is acidic, it can gradually eat away the enamel protecting your teeth. They will start to weaken and could eventually become badly damaged. You may also notice that they become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.
- Gum Disease: Beer contains carbohydrates that, when mixed with the bacteria living in your mouth, can result in a lot of plaque buildup on your teeth. It also tends to dehydrate the body, giving the harmful bacteria a chance to thrive. As a result, your risk of gum disease will increase significantly.
- Chipped Teeth: Teeth that are weakened by beer are much more susceptible to being chipped. Also, if you’re in the habit of opening beer cans with your teeth, there’s a risk that small cracks could start to form in the enamel, which can eventually lead to much more severe damage.
How Can You Protect Your Teeth?
Obviously, drinking beer in moderation can help limit the negative effects it has on your smile. Try to be wary of how much you’re drinking on a regular basis and adjust your habits as necessary. Furthermore, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene to make sure that the harmful substances on your teeth are removed before they have a chance to do lasting damaged. This naturally means brushing at least twice a day (three times a day if possible) and flossing to remove plaque from the hard-to-reach spots between the teeth. You also need to visit your dentist every six months to that they can get rid of tartar and give you tips for improving your oral health in the future.
There’s no need to give up drinking altogether, but you do need to be smart about your alcohol consumption if you what to keep your smile looking bright and healthy. If you have any concerns about how the things you eat and drink affect your teeth, talk to your dentist at your next regular checkup.
About the Author
Dr. Martin T. Barco III has been connected to the Bloomington area for over 20 years. His father was a dentist in the US Navy, and he is proud to carry on the family tradition by helping his friends and neighbors enjoy improved oral health. He loves nothing more than to help people enjoy bright smiles for the rest of their lives with high quality preventive dentistry. If you are concerned about the impact that beer might be having on your teeth, or if you simply want to schedule a regular checkup at his practice, Barco Family Dentistry, visit his website or call (812) 332-8290.