Do Christmas Tipples Affect Your Teeth?

It’s no secret that Christmas is a time of indulgence – and rightly so! Along with the classic Christmas food like turkey, Christmas puddings and even Brussels sprouts! Not to mention, of course, everything sweet. But though chocolate is a well-known nemesis for our teeth, seasonal drinks like mulled wine and Prosecco can slip under the radar. This week on the blog we thought it was worth enlightening you about how they can affect your teeth – and how you can minimise the effects!

Mulled Wine and Hot Chocolate

mulled wine

We’ll kick off with the most underreported culprit. Mulled wine shares all the undesirable traits of room-temperature wine; it’s both acidic and sugary, making it bad news for your teeth. We’ve told you before about how sugar affects your teeth, but the acid is an equally big problem. The acidic qualities of mulled wine can erode your dental enamel, and lead to lower levels of essential minerals like calcium, which can ultimately weaken your teeth.

In addition to these acids, wine – mulled or otherwise – contains molecules called tannins. Also found in coffee, it’s these tannins which give wine its dry taste. Unfortunately though, they also make your tooth enamel more porous, causing your teeth to absorb colour from foods and drinks more easily, and can cause them to become browner or yellower at a faster rate.

Hot chocolate can stain your teeth in a similar way – in fact, darker drinks are notorious for the staining and colouring effects they can have on teeth. Teeth that look too yellow or dark can also have the effect of appearing to age you, and making you look less healthy overall. (If you’re worried about that, incidentally, it’s exactly the sort of problem our teeth whitening service is designed to tackle!)


glasses of prossecco

This is a relatively new import to our shores here in Britain, but in the last few years it’s seen a huge upsurge in popularity. It’s often seen as a healthier option than wine due to the fact that it contains fewer calories. Unfortunately though, bubbly drinks like champagne and Prosecco are similarly acidic, and can have the same effect of wearing away your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth’s dentin exposed and therefore far more sensitive.

It’s worth noting that Prosecco have the same heavy concentrations of tannins, so its reputation as being healthier than wine and hot chocolate isn’t entirely ill-deserved! Its acidic qualities and the sugar in it do mean that you should drink it in moderation though, the same as you would with any other ‘unhealthier’ drink.

Does That Mean I Can’t Drink Christmas Drinks?

people ready to party

No! Definitely not – we’d hate to be called scrooges here at AP Smilecare. In fact, we’ve got a few tips for helping you to take the edge off those harmful effects. For starters, drinking with a straw can actually help you skip out on a lot of the negative effects that darker drinks can have on your teeth. It makes sense when you think about it, as a straw means that most of the liquid bypasses your teeth completely.

What’s more, drinking a glass of water occasionally after your favourite Christmas drinks can wash away the most harmful elements of them, minimising their effects. By the same token, a small piece of cheese contains protein, calcium and phosphorus, which neutralises the harmful acids found in wine and Prosecco – so if you plan on indulging, it might be worth having a piece of cheddar handy!

Here at AP Smilecare, we’re dedicated to helping keep your smile perfect. We offer a number of core treatments in that regard – don’t hesitate to pop into our dental clinic in Blackburn, or give us a call on 01254 297 000.

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