Summertime Drinking and Teeth

If you couldn’t see the weather and couldn’t clock everyone’s outfits, you could still play a pretty successful game of ‘Guess The Season’ by flashing photographs of what everyone’s currently drinking. A quick browse of #summerdrinks on Instagram shows a lot of cocktails, a lot of Pimms… A lot of fruit, a lot of ice and a lot of alcohol! And yes, most of it is set against beach backgrounds, garden parties and rooftop terraces, making you want to get outside instantly even if the weather where you’re sat hasn’t got the ‘summer’ memo yet.

The combination of the longer daylight hours and a range of all these delicious drinks to sample can make for a dangerous combination. For one, after several alcoholic drinks it’s easy to forget to protect your skin from the sunlight. Even in the evenings, prolonged exposure to the UVA and UVB rays can cause damage and it’s worth ensuring that you’ve applied SPF before you settle down in the pub garden. If you’re abroad, remember that the laws surrounding measurements aren’t the same as at home so your normal amount may have a completely different effect than normal!

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The effect of alcohol on your teeth should not be ignored either. Alcohol has a triple-pronged effect on the health of your mouth. Firstly, it reduces the flow of saliva which would otherwise help to keep bacteria levels in your mouth low and your teeth clean. Secondly, the acid content in your drinks will also thin your tooth enamel – causing discoloration and increasing the risk of tooth decay. Thirdly, the risk of mouth cancer is four times greater for those who regularly drink to excess compared with those that don’t. Monitoring your alcohol intake and ensuring that you have some alcohol-free days and don’t exceed the daily limits will help lessen the risk. Trying to keep hydrated with water alongside will also protect your teeth and help ease the next day’s hangover!

Making sure to continue a good oral hygiene regime alongside enjoying sampling these summer drinks will go a long way towards preventing any negative repercussions on your oral health.

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