St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, which means we’ll be seeing a lot of green everywhere we look, from putting on our best green outfit to sipping on festive green drinks. March 17th is one of the largest drinking days of the year, and your dentist in Chapel Hill wants to not only remind our patients and neighbors to celebrate responsibly but to also raise awareness of a few unwanted side effects of drinking beer, especially beer that’s dyed green.
Drinks that are dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day can stain your teeth. But luckily, this discoloration isn’t permanent and can be brushed away at the end of the night. Whitening toothpaste is the best way to remove these types of stains because they’re slightly abrasive and can scrub away any unwanted green tint. However, even non-dyed beer can cause tooth discoloration. Drinking beer regularly can cause teeth to appear yellow or brown, and this type of staining may be harder to remove. Whitening toothpaste or professional dental cleanings can help eliminate surface stains, but when stains affect the inside of teeth, cosmetic dentistry, such as veneers may be the best way to brighten your teeth.
Beer is acidic, which means drinking too much of it can lead to enamel erosion. Even though tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body, it can still be damaged, most commonly from eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks. The acid from these treats essentially eats away the protective enamel coating which can lead to tooth sensitivity, increase the risk of decay, and make teeth look thinner and darker.
Minimize the Side Effects
We’re not here to tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy an adult beverage every now and then, as long as you’re of legal drinking age and are drinking responsibly. But if you choose to drink alcohol, there are ways that you can minimize your risk of unwanted oral health side effects, such as:
Everyone should have a dental checkup twice a year in order to clean away surface stains and remove plaque buildup. These preventive dental appointments also help monitor the health of teeth, including enamel. If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve been to the dentist in Chapel Hill, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today to help keep your smile in good health.