The holidays are here to spread good cheer, and they’re bringing a few customary beverages that many people enjoy. While it’s important to celebrate and make merry on these festive occasions, it’s also important to make sure your smile isn’t any worse for the wear. Here are a few traditional holiday beverages that can be harsh on your teeth and how to keep your pearly whites white and pearly for next year.
Red Wine Can Leave Purplish Stains
Red wine may have a delightful taste that pairs amazingly well with beef or lamb, but it’s also full of acid and pigments. While acid lends a satisfying bite to its flavor, it also begins weakening your enamel as soon as it makes contact with your teeth. This makes it easier for the pigments that give red wine its lovely color to get stuck in the surface of your smile. If the drinker consumes to excess and doesn’t practice proper oral hygiene, their smile may take on a purplish tinge over time.
Hot Chocolate Is Sugary and Sweet, Just Like Harmful Bacteria Like It
Hot chocolate is a beloved winter beverage for people of all ages. It has a pleasant flavor and texture and can really warm you up on a cold day or night. Unfortunately, it’s full of sugars from all the chocolate and marshmallows. These sugars feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, helping them to multiply and wreak oral havoc. To make matters worse, it can contain dairy products that can cause bad breath if they are allowed to sit in the mouth for too long.
Eggnog Is a Triple Threat to Your Oral Health
Eggnog is renowned as a traditional holiday beverage, but it contains sugar, dairy, and alcohol. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Dairy products can cause bad breath. Alcohol is acidic, which makes it harsh on your enamel, and has a dehydrating effect, which can reduce your mouth’s saliva production. Without adequate saliva, your mouth will be unable to clean itself properly, making it easier for oral infections to take root.
Besides avoiding them, the best way to prevent damage to your teeth from these beverages is to enjoy them in moderation while maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine and drinking a glass of water alongside them. Drinking water will help flush your mouth clean while keeping you hydrated. If you watch out for your teeth while celebrating the holidays, they can continue to serve you well into the new year.
About the Author
Dr. S. John Salivonchik earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine at Temple Dental School, where he graduated summa cum laude. He currently holds memberships with the American Dental Association, the Pennsylvania Dental Association, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His office in Coplay, PA offers general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more tips on protecting your oral health during the holidays, contact his office online or dial (610) 502-1545.