Most people heading out to the bar for a quick pint probably rarely stop to wonder what should be an important question: is beer bad for your teeth?
According to the United States Office of Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion, moderate alcohol consumption is considered one drink per day for adult women and two drinks per day for adult men. And odds are your dentist notices if you’re a moderate consumer of the barley beverage.
So how is beer bad for your teeth? The answer is a number of ways:
Does beer stain teeth?
Yes. Acid in alcohol can wear down the enamel on your teeth, leaving them exposed to all sorts of things. One of them is staining due to ingredients like barley and various malts, which give the crafted concoction its appearance and flavor.
Like a slice of orange in your wheat beer? That just compounds the effects as things like sugar and citrus are also acidic.
Does beer cause dry mouth?
On its own, beer isn’t the cause of a reduction in saliva. That’s a product of alcohol, whether it is wine, spirits, or a chilled lager. But saliva is actually a tool that your body uses to remove plaque and other mouth invaders in order to keep you healthy and happy.
When there’s less saliva, there’s more of that icky stuff clinging to your teeth, which isn’t good for them.
Does beer make me sleep worse?
What does this have to do with your teeth, you ask? Well, while a few pilsners may help you fall asleep, your overall sleep cycle is interrupted—meaning you’ll get less rest. This can increase the progression of periodontal disease.
So what can you do to keep your teeth happy while consuming a nice cold one? Easy, limit your servings and the frequency in which you drink, mix in water now and then, and opt for a straw. That will keep you and your mouth happy.