Ok, so we’re a day late, but Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You did wear green didn’t you? While your head may still be reeling from yesterday’s celebration and indulgences, all that beer can have a significant impact on another part of your body as well. In this post, your Mansfield, TX dentist explains the affects of beer on your dental health. Although it’s too late this year, we hope this information helps you to make smart dental choices next St. Patty’s Day.

Beer and Dental Decay

Beer has a high acidity level, and acid is one of the primary contributors to dental decay. Acidic foods and beverages demineralize your teeth and erode your dental enamel. Over time, you may develop white spots on your teeth. If untreated, these white spots will grow into cavities. To initiate the demineralization process, a food or beverage must have a pH level of about 5.5, and the lower the number, the higher the acidity level. Although most beers are acidic enough to damage teeth, some are worse than others. For example, typical craft beers have a pH level around 5.4 to 5.8, while sour beers can have a shockingly low 3.2 to 3.3 pH level.

Beer and Teeth Discoloration

In addition to causing dental decay, beer can also affect the color of your smile. Again, however, some beers are worse than others. Dark colored beers are most responsible for discoloration. Some of the most notorious culprits are beers made with roasted barley, black patent malts, and dark colored fruits. Unfortunately, the worst beer for dental stains is also everyone’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day drink – green beer. Most breweries use green food coloring to create their celebratory beverages, and while you probably don’t drink it often enough to cause long lasting damage, just a few sips can noticeably, though temporarily, add a green tint to your smile.

It’s Not All Bad News

Fortunately, beer also has some dental benefits. Most craft beers are full of barley and hops. Both of these substances are high in calcium and silicon, which have been shown to strengthen teeth. Hops also have antibacterial effects, which could help to prevent dental decay. In fact, according to one study from the California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles, beer can prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth just as easily as fluoride. So what conclusions can be drawn from all this? While the risks of beer consumption cannot be denied, there’s convincing evidence to support the positive side of beer, too. The best advice should come as no surprise. Drink in moderation. Be sure to have plenty of water afterwards, and brush your teeth about thirty minutes after you finish your last beer. However, there’s no need to cut out your favorite beverage entirely. Cead mile failte!

About Mansfield Dental Associates

At Mansfield Dental Associates, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris share the same vision and philosophy when it comes to patient care. We provide thorough, general and cosmetic dentistry services, including cleaning, nutrition counseling, and teeth whitening. Contact our Mansfield, TX general dentist office at 817-473-6227 to schedule your next appointment. We proudly treat patients in Fort Worth, Arlington, Crowley, Burleson, and the surrounding areas.