Could a dry July boost your oral health? The benefits of having a break from the booze

It seems that Australians just love to drink. Whether it’s a glass of red from the Barossa Valley or you prefer a Milton Mango (which is XXXX Gold for those who haven’t caught on yet), there is no questioning our alcohol obsession. So what happens when thousands of Aussies decide to give it up for a month as part of Dry July? Other than the insane amount of support generated for cancer and the obvious health benefits (weight loss, mental clarity, increased energy), your teeth and gums will thank you too.

Sugar attack

We have been told our whole life that sugar will give us cavities, and many types of alcohol are full of the stuff. To prevent cavities, dentists recommend you limit your intake of sugary products. But, if you are already fighting tooth decay, sugar is an absolute no-no. Alcohol acidity is just as serious. Take extra precaution if you are a wine-drinker; the acid found in wine could seriously erode, discolor and increase sensitivity in your teeth.

Dry mouth

You know that dry mouth feeling? We’ll let you in on a secret: more alcohol is going to make it worse in the long run. Regular, heavy consumption could cause your saliva glands to swell and as a result, reduce saliva production. The resulting dryness, if left to worsen, can contribute to tooth decay as bacteria strive in the environment.

Round 2

It’s gross to think about, but, if you are binge drinking, it’s likely that six-pack will make an unfashionable reappearance. When alcohol “repeats” on you, a bunch of stomach acids are sent up with it. Details aren’t necessary. You just know that hydrochloric stomach acid will be eroding your teeth the longer it’s left there.

The serious stuff

There is no sugar coating this one: second only to tobacco use, alcohol abuse is a leading contributor to oral cancer. If you consume more than 21 alcoholic drinks per week, you fall into the at-risk category. This is by far, alcohol’s most threatening effect on oral health and general well-being.

Try these tips for perfect pegs:

  • Drink through a straw! This will limit the amount of contact the alcohol’s sugars and acids has with your teeth, leaving less chance for cavities to crop up.
  • While you might need a rhyme to remember ‘Which should come first – wine or beer?’ You can safely drink water anytime. Adding water into the mix will reduce acidity and dehydration while fighting off erosion and sensitivity. Bonus if it helps with tomorrow’s hangover too!
  • Chew some gum. Pick a sugar-free option and chew away to increase saliva production, fight dryness and prevent erosion.
  • Even if you are coming home late, try to do your oral health one more favour and brush your teeth before your head hits that pillow. Just be sure it’s 20 minutes after your last drink to allow the enamel, softened by the sugar and acid, time to harden so you can brush your teeth without causing damage. Plus, everyone knows how terrible that furry-teeth feeling feels, looks and smells. Wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy? Don’t do it to yourself.

In all seriousness, Dry July is a meaningful reminder of the connection between alcohol and cancer. In many ways, you can take your risk of developing oral cancer into your own hands, so don’t wait another minute.

Make an Enquiry

  • Phone (07) 4051 4580
  • Fax (07) 4031 5226
  • Email
  • Address Ground Floor "Accent on McLeod"
    93-95 McLeod St

    Cairns QLD 4870
  • Hours
    Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Tuesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Wednesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Thursday8:00am - 5:00pm
It is a requirement for all persons (including accompanying person/s) who enter Future Dental to scan the QR code and fill in a COVID screen.
Did you know you’re at more risk of cracking teeth with those old silver “Amalgam” fillings? Talk to us about amalgam replacement!
The wait is over!You don’t have to wait weeks for your crowns, talk to us about E4D crowns and One Visit Crowns
Did you know? Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can increase risk of serious health problems like heart attack and stroke
FACT - Dry mouth leaves you at risk of decay, and we can help with your dry mouth.
Lip and Tongue Tie can affect your baby’s growth and development, come and see Dr Bob about how we can help.
Did you know regular efficient flossing keeps not just your teeth, but your gums healthy too? Talk to us about Dental Hygiene
FACT – sometimes migraines are caused by grinding your teeth! Talk to us about Occlusal Therapy and Migraine Treatment and Therapeutic Injectables
Teeth Whitening has never been so easy! Ask us why.
Straightening your teeth doesn’t have to mean braces, talk to us about ClearCorrect