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Don't let holiday drinks ruin teeth
Updated: 12/21/2011 7:00:25 PM


Of the many enemies teeth will encounter this holiday season, one of the worst is alcohol. Along with usually having a high concentration of sugar, alcohol has a drying effect in the mouth. Saliva helps protect teeth from decay, so something that causes the mouth's moisture to evaporate can have a damaging affect.

"Drink a full glass of water and swish to rehydrate the mouth after drinking an alcoholic beverage. Avoid alcohol within an hour of bed{comma} as the mouth naturally dries out during sleep," suggested Dakota Dental Family Dentistry of Minnesota.

The organization also recommended chewing sugar-free gum to promote saliva production after drinking alcohol. The sugar in alcohol can also erode tooth enamel, which is why it's important to brush an hour after eating a meal that comes complete with dessert and alcoholic drinks. Also, red wine may stain teeth, so it's important to not let it sit on the pearly whites for too long.

Finally, immediately after the holidays is a good time to schedule a trip to the dentist. Start 2012 off with proper oral care and a thorough cleaning!

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