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Cheers: To Oral Health

In the year of perfect vision (2020!), your eyesight isn’t the only thing that can be affected by consuming alcohol. 

We all know the common risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, such as liver problems, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, but one thing that isn’t always considered, is the impact that alcohol has on oral health…

Alcohol has been linked to many oral health conditions including mouth cancer (more information can be found here), tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, staining and tooth wear due to the acidity of drinks such as alcopops, cider and wine. Excessive alcohol intake is also associated with dental trauma and injuries to the face, either through accidental falls, road traffic accidents or violence.

Alcohol has many other wider effects on general, social and mental health, some of which can influence dental treatment. These include drug interactions, liver disease, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases, and compliance with treatment, attending appointments and maintaining good oral hygiene. It has more of an impact on oral health than you probably realised, right? 

So what can you do to minimise the impact of drinking alcohol on your oral health? Growing Smiles recommends the following:

  • Stick to NHS guidelines and do not regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • Know how many units are in your favourite tipple – you might be surprised. One drink does not equal one unit
  • Visit your dental care professional regularly and be honest about your alcohol intake 
  • Switch full sugar mixers to a diet/low sugar option
  • Familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of Mouth Cancer and check your mouth regularly
  • Hydrate with plenty of water before, during and after consuming alcohol to avoid dry mouth
  • Try mixing it up with some non-alcoholic options such as alcohol free beer or gin  
  • On a night out ask for a glass of iced water to sip along with alcohol. This will help reduce your overall alcohol intakes, quenches your thirst and helps stay hydrated

More tips to cut down on alcohol can be found here.

For further information or advice on alcohol consumption, visit the following:

Drink Aware, NHS and Alcohol Change UK.

Looking for a healthier lifestyle you will find lots of advice here.

If you’d like any more specific advice on your oral health in relation to alcohol contact Growing Smiles, where you may be advised to take Time Out for Teeth with your Growing Smiles Coach. 

Don’t let alcohol impair your judgement when it comes to making the right choices for both your oral hygiene and your overall health and wellbeing.

Think ‘mouth mouth’ instead of ‘chin chin’!            

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