With the joy and revelry of Oktoberfest fading quickly into the past and your lederhosen and suspenders freshly packed away for another year, the post-festivity blues can begin to set in. Even with an array of seasonal holidays on their way, none offer 16 days of merriment in honor of your favorite libation.
Don’t despair! The memories you made enjoying large varieties of beer while eating schweinebraten, yodeling, and dancing the polka will last — and so will your smile after you learn about the post-merriment oral health benefits you received.
Your Teeth & the Benefits of Beer
From polishing and strengthening your teeth to protecting your gums from periodontal disease, drinking beer comes with benefits that support better oral health. This is not to say that you should go out and overindulge, but just know that when it comes to the effect beer has on your health, it’s not all bad news. The good news is:
- Beer abolishes biofilm, that slimy coating you feel collecting on your teeth in between brushing. Biofilm forms when harmful bacteria collect on the surface of your teeth and create a watery or slimy environment. It may appear yellowish and is disease causing, sometimes leading to gingivitis or periodontal disease.
Simply put: Beer wipes out biofilm. Beer that is high in hops (think pilsners and IPAs) contains tannins, which serve as antioxidants, both inhibiting the growth of and killing plaque-causing bacteria. In essence, it aids in keeping your teeth cleaner and protecting your gum health.
- Beer helps strengthen teeth. It may be hard to believe, but beer contains large amounts of calcium and silicon, both of which fortify teeth, as well as hair and nails. While beer shouldn’t be your main source of calcium, it’s nice to know that it’s helping your teeth and bones stay stronger and last longer.
Tips for Protecting Your Teeth
It’s true that beer comes with its pluses, but there’s no denying that your favorite brew also has its downfalls. Beer tends to be high in acidity, which is harmful to tooth enamel and can aid in tooth decay. The darker drinks can also cause unwanted, hard-to-remove stains.
If you love your lager but don’t want to lose your smile, the following tips will help you enjoy a drink while preserving your pearly whites.
- Stay clean. Studies show that the cleaner your teeth are, the less likely they are to stain. Buildup on teeth makes it easier for stains to settle and stick. Make sure you have scheduled your regular cleaning with your dental provider and that you don’t miss it or put it off too long. It’s a simple solution for an ugly problem.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water in between sips or swigs of spirits washes away the acids before they can cause harm. It also keeps you in a clear state of mind.
- Chew sugar free. Sugar-free gum helps stimulate the flow of saliva in your mouth. Not only does it wash away the alcohol, you will also enjoy fresher breath because, let’s face it, beer breath is just plain bad.
- Brush and floss. We aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know, but after imbibing, it’s extra important to remember to brush and floss. This final cleaning will keep your teeth safe, healthy, and bright.
- Whiten and brighten. If you notice your teeth darkening even after taking all of the suggested precautions, don’t hesitate to contact us about our teeth-whitening options. In most cases, we have both in-office and at-home whitening options that will return your teeth to their natural color quickly.
If you would like to find out more about how to keep your teeth healthy and bright through the holiday season, contact us at 208.252.7163 today for more information.