Happy Dry January, everyone! If you have chosen to cut out alcohol this month - well done! While the best thing for your body would be cutting out all alcohol altogether, this isn’t always realistic. Trying out a month of abstinence can also be hugely helpful in detoxing your body, and what better way to start the new year than happy and healthy? Information about oral health and alcohol often talk about the damages that alcohol causes in the mouth (for more information on this, see our previous blog!) but we thought it would be a good bit of positive reinforcement to talk about the many benefits of cutting and reducing alcohol intake! So read on to find out how taking a break in January actually benefits your oral health…
Hydration Station Activated
As a diuretic, alcohol promotes water loss from the body through urine, which also affects your saliva production - that’s why it sometimes gives you a dry mouth feeling. Saliva is needed to keep your mouth clean and clear from plaque-forming bacteria, sugars and acids. When you reduce or stop alcohol intake, your mouth immediately starts producing more of that much-needed saliva, helping your daily oral health!
When we think about cutting back on sugar, our mind usually goes straight to the obvious culprits: sweets, cakes, and snacks. However, alcohol - especially beer and wine - is also packed full of sugar, as well as spirit mixes, especially if they're carbonated. So reducing your alcohol intake also massively reduces how much sugar you’re putting into your body, which is not only better for your overall health but also a huge help in protecting your teeth from cavities and tooth decay!
Some alcoholic beverages, especially wine, but also beer, can actively discolour your teeth, leaving them with a brown or yellow hue. Taking a break from alcohol helps to minimise discolouration and maintain your sparkling smile!
What if I’m not dry this January?
If you’re partaking in Dry January, it doesn’t mean all is lost! There are some simple steps you can take to protect your teeth from whatever you are drinking:
- Use a straw! This helps to bypass liquids hitting your teeth, and minimises the amount of alcohol in your mouth.
- Chew sugar-free gum! This will help to increase your saliva production and counteract the diuretic effects of alcohol.
- Drink water! In order to help your body to create more saliva, as well as washing your mouth out from any lingering sugars or acids, take a sip of water between drinks.
- Maintain your routine! If you know you will be continuing to drink alcohol, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping up with your daily brushing and flossing routine. Keep a Sonisk Pulse portable sonic toothbrush on you for a quick brush between drinks, or to ensure that you maintain your evening routine if you happen to stay out!