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Alcoholic drinks are a common part of many holiday traditions. But before you drink, you should be aware of the many effects of alcohol on your teeth, gums, and overall health.

Alcohol is a diuretic. It cues your body to release too much fluid; this can cause you to get dehydrated. This can lead to headaches, reduced brain function, and irritability. IN addition to drying out the body, alcohol also dries out the mouth. It reduces saliva production; lower saliva production leads to higher rates of tooth decay. To try to combat these issues, make sure you drink a lot of water when drinking alcohol. Keeping alcohol within recommended limits is also beneficial.

In addition to drying you out, alcoholic beverages can stain your teeth. Red wine, beer, and dark soda mixers all contribute to browning or yellowing of the enamel. Strictly limit your consumption of these beverages, and be sure to accompany them with a large glass of water to rinse them away from teeth. Brushing your teeth about 20 minutes after drinking them can help reduce tooth stains (brushing right after acidic beverages such as alcohol can actually scrape up tooth enamel and should be avoided).

For more information on the effects of alcohol, call Dentist 4 Life - Mark DeVuyst DDS, PC in Clinton Township, Michigan, at 586-416-1625. Dr. Mark DeVuyst and our team look forward to helping your smile shine bright this holiday season! Please drink responsibly!