The Negative Effect Of Alchohol On Your Teeth

There's nothing wrong with enjoying a nice glass of wine or cocktail every now and then. But before you start sipping the same drink daily, you might want to know that booze can have a negative effect on your teeth. And depending on which type you regularly choose, the results can be vastly different, according to Dr. Joseph Banker, founder of Creative Dental Care.

White Wine

Think white wine is safer than red? We hate to break it to you, you still could be putting your teeth at risk with that nightly glass of chardonnay. "When you sip white wine over long periods of time, it doesn't give your mouth a chance to rebalance its pH," says Dr. Banker. "The acidity softens enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to eroding or picking up stains from other foods or drinks."

Mixed Drinks and Cocktails

Vodka cranberry. Rum and cola. Margaritas. Having your favorite cocktail might help you relax after a long day, but according Dr. Banker, ingesting these high-sugar drinks regularly can be terrible for your teeth.

"The more acidic your drink is — for example, whiskey with cola — the quicker it can damage your teeth," he warns. "And if you're sipping these drinks every weekend, you're spending a significant amount of time with sugary, acidic liquid in your mouth."

Imagine sucking on hard candy for several hours a day — that's how bad this is for your teeth.

Red Wine

Let's just rip the Band-aid off: Red wine is rough on your teeth. "On top of being acidic, it also has chromogens — dark pigments," explains Dr. Banker. "Plus, it contains tannins, an astringent from the peel of the grape that has a binding effect." If you happen to love darker red wine, just be aware that the more pigmented it is, the more likely your teeth will get stained.

Related - Red Wine Can Aid Weight Loss, Science Says


Skipping the mixers won't help your cause: High alcohol drinks (think vodka, rum, and whiskey) are still rough on your enamel. Plus, they decrease saliva production, making it more difficult for your mouth to naturally wash away bacteria and acids. And besides being bad for your teeth, this can also lead to bad breath — something no one wants to deal with during a night out.


Beer lovers, we've got good news and bad news. The bad: Beer is acidic and can therefore be harmful when sipped over a long period of time, just like the rest of these picks. Plus, darker beers can stain your teeth. Here's the good news: Of all the types of alcohol, Dr. Banker said a light, low-carb beer is probably your teeth's best bet, as it has the highest water content and lowest acidity.

How You Can Prevent Damage

If all of this info is bumming you out, take solace in the fact that there are a few good ways to minimize the damage alcohol can have on your teeth:

Before Drinking
According to Dr. Banker, if you have had a recent dental cleaning and therefore have smoother teeth with less buildup, stains have a harder time settling into your teeth. Be sure to get regular cleanings and, of course, brush and floss regularly.

While Consuming Alcohol
Sip water at the same time, recommends Dr. Banker. Swish it around on occasion to wash away the alcohol. Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum can also help minimize damage, as it stimulates saliva production.

The Next Day
If you find yourself with purple teeth the morning after a night out, be sure to brush and floss properly, then use an at-home whitening treatment to get rid of surface stains.

From Good Housekeeping
Image By Getty 

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