Every March 17th for St Patrick’s Day you can be sure to see green almost everywhere you look. Did you know that there are more people with Irish roots in the United States than in Ireland itself? In U.S.A there are approximately 34 million, while in Ireland there are only 4.5 million Irish people.
And as Americans, we tend to celebrate this Irish holiday by boozing it up and dyeing our alcohol green. While drinking green beer may be a fun idea, it can also lead to tooth decay.
That’s right! The dye used for turning beer into a glass full of green goodness can lead to tooth decay, dry mouth and staining of the teeth. The dye is only part of the problem, though. Alcohol, in general, is full of sugars and starches that dry out your mouth, which decreases the amount of saliva produced in order to help combat cavities in your teeth.
A few pointers to help you maintain your beautiful, healthy smile this St. Patrick’s Day.
- Remember to hydrate and drink plenty of water in between alcohol consumption. If you don’t stay hydrated, you are more disposed to cavities, oral yeast infection, and thrush.
- If you can, you should brush your teeth before bed. Try to refrain from doing this directly after drinking. Brushing too soon after drinking alcohol may lead to further damage to your enamel. We suggest holding off for 30 minutes to an hour after drinking.
- Try to stay away from the green stuff. You may end up like one of the many people who wake up with green teeth. While this is temporary, it can keep you from wanting to show your teeth the next day. If this happens to you, try brushing with a whitening toothpaste. If you see that your teeth remain green for a longer period of time, contact your dentist.
- Use a good mouthwash for that “kiss me, I’m Irish” moment. After all, corned beef and cabbage is a combination nobody wants to share during a kiss, no matter how much you’ve had to drink.
Keep in mind that even though St. Patrick’s Day is fun and filled with endless flowing rivers of blissful beer, try to keep things in moderation. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are no laughing matter and excessive drinking can lead to both.
Why not call our office today to schedule your post-holiday spring cleaning? Your mouth will thank you for it!