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St. Patrick’s Day Partying: Not What The Dentist Ordered

St. Patrick’s Day is notorious for 2 things: green beer and corned beef and cabbage. With alcohol playing such a large role in this annual celebration, it stands to reason that the negative effects of drinking will also join the party. When you get a little tipsy, it’s not just your eyesight and reaction time that suffer.

Think about the last time you went to bed after a few drinks. Did you remember to brush and floss your teeth? Did you sleep well? Probably not. If getting tipsy is a regular occurrence, that $5 cocktail can turn into an expensive dental visit down the road.

Below are 5 examples of how drinking too much or too often can affect your dental health:

1.Bad Habits — After you’ve knocked a few back, it’s easy to forget to brush and floss before bed. By forgoing your nighttime dental routine, you let all that sugar and bacteria sit on your teeth overnight.

2.Weight Gain — High amounts of sugar in alcohol is obviously bad for your teeth, but it is also bad for your waistline, which can indirectly affect your mouth. Studies have shown that gum disease may progress more quickly in the presence of higher body fat.

3.Poor Sleep — Although you may fall asleep faster after a few drinks, your sleep patterns are interrupted, and you don’t sleep as well. A Japanese study has linked lack of sleep with more rapid progression of periodontal disease.

4.Chewing Ice — While this may provide a few moments of refreshment between rounds, it can cause severe tooth and gum injuries followed by a painful, expensive visit to your dentist. If ice chewing ever becomes a craving, talk to your dentist right away, because it could signify iron deficiency anemia.

So on March 17, think about your teeth before downing another drink. A harmless night out can leave you with a mouthful of bacteria and a lowered ability to protect your teeth.

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