Dry January: what effect on your oral health?
As usual, the New Year brings a number of resolutions, many of which about our unhealthy habits. One of the most common of these is Dry January, going the entire month without a drop of alcohol.
Of course, that’s pretty good news both for your liver and your wallet, but it can also have a good impact on your oral health. Here’s why.
Excessive drinking can increase risks of mouth cancer by up to four times of that of a non drinker. That’s particularly bad if you’re also a regular smoker, since smoking can be damaging to your teeth and develop halitosis.
For that reason, it’s advisable to stick to medical guidelines when it comes to daily alcohol consumption. The recommended daily amount for a man is 3-4 units, and 2-3 for a woman according to the NHS. It’s also recommended to regularly give your body (and teeth) time off alcohol too.
Tooth decay & Erosion
A lot of alcoholic drinks are either high in sugar or mixed with sugary drinks like Coke or Lemonade. Regularly drinking sugar can lead to tooth decay and acid erosion of the enamel.
In addition, because alcohol has dehydrating effects, it reduces the saliva flow in the mouth. Since saliva helps neutralising the acid and protect your teeth, this can also be detrimental.
Finally, we’ve all been there: the one thing you want most when going through a hangover is food. And we’re not talking lettuce. After a big night out, you’re more likely to eat a lot of junk food, often throughout the day.
This is bad for 2 reasons. Firstly, sugary food is obviously damaging to your teeth and can cause tooth decay. Constantly snacking also gives your mouth little recovery time to neutralise the effect on sugar on your teeth.
We recommend you drink sensibly and watch your sugar intake too. This will help you achieve a beautiful smile.