May the sun light
and the rain fill your cup.
And every day bring blessings,
from the moment you wake up.
~ Irish blessing
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day you think of all things green and a day of good luck. Depending on what you do to celebrate, however, your teeth might not be so lucky! In fact, the day after St. Patrick’s Day dental practices often see a rise in appointments from accidents, usually involving alcohol (people getting into fights, potentially knocking out a tooth or two).
Stout beers are in great demand on St. Patrick’s Day with their strong flavors. But they also tend to stain tooth enamel. Dark beers in general will do that, making your smile look aged or as if you lack good oral hygiene habits, even if you actually do brush and floss regularly! Another problem with beers is that they come in at a 4 on the pH scale. When you compare beer to water, beer has a high level of acidity that is just plain bad for your smile. These acids in the mouth weaken tooth enamel which is needed to keep decay away so you don’t wind up with tooth destroying cavities.
Did you know that acids in acidic beverages will wage war on precious tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes each time you partake? Yes, every time you take another sip, the acid attack restarts! That’s a lot of acids attacking your teeth if you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with this popular drink. To protect tooth enamel, you’ll want to brush your teeth and rinse out those harmful oral acids. You’ll also want to stay hydrated with water in between your alcohol consumption so your mouth doesn’t dry out. Hydration protects tooth enamel by preventing dry mouth from having insufficient saliva levels.
This St. Patrick’s Day, bless your smile by taking good care of your teeth. And if you, like many others, enjoy drinking green beer on St. Patrick Day, be mindful that the food coloring turning it that vivid green can also penetrate tooth enamel. Avoid tooth-staining by rinsing well after you drink and brush and floss carefully. Your smile will thank you! Our Sierra Oaks Dental team looks forward to helping you with all of your dental needs!