The luckiest day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day, is almost here, which means we’re about to see a lot of green everywhere, including in your favorite adult beverages. In particular, it’s become a tradition to dye beer green, which is not only festive and fun but can also cause some concern for your dentist in Alexandria. In fact, green beer, and all types of alcohol, can negatively affect oral health.
The dye used to turn beer green can also temporarily turn your mouth and teeth green. This may be fun during St. Paddy’s Day but could be odd at any other time. This is why it’s a good thing that any green staining can usually be removed by brushing your teeth. Whitening toothpaste is often the best choice as they contain abrasive properties that can more effectively scrub away stains. Keep in mind that starting celebrations with clean teeth can help reduce stain severity. Areas of plaque or tartar buildup will attract and retain dying agents faster and more severely than clean teeth, much like disclosing plaque rinses show kids areas of their teeth they didn’t clean so well.
However, it’s not only green beer that can cause tooth discoloration. In fact, drinking any type of alcohol excessively can cause tooth staining and make teeth look yellow or brown. These stains tend to be more difficult to remove and may need to be treated with a professional tooth whitening treatment or other forms of cosmetic dentistry from your Alexandria dentist such as veneers.
The strongest material in your body is your tooth enamel, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged. Acid is usually the culprit behind damaged tooth enamel, and a lot of things we eat and drink are acidic, including beer and other alcoholic beverages. The acidity of these foods and drinks can easily erode enamel and leave teeth at risk for decay, sensitivity, and discoloration. Weakened tooth enamel may be noticed if teeth look gray, dull, or translucent.
Enjoying alcoholic beverages in moderation greatly reduces your risk of any alcohol-related oral health problems. But besides limiting your alcohol intake, there are other ways you can further protect your smile including:
Whether you’re due for a dental checkup or are looking for the best way to whiten your teeth, we’re always happy to see new patients from Alexandria, Old Town, or Del Ray. Call us to schedule an appointment today.