We know drinking things like soda and coffee are bad for your teeth—they can cause enamel erosion and staining over time—but there are some other lesser-known culprits doing damage to your smile that may never have crossed your mind. As reported on by the DailyMail, a dentist in London reported treating many women whose teeth enamel had been worn away as a result of drinking prosecco.
Dubbed “prosecco smile” by this dentist, Dr. Mervyn Druian, the name comes from the fact that the popular cocktail’s effect on the health and appearance of the teeth when consumed on the regular, which is largely due to two factors: its acidic nature and its sugar content.
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“Prosecco can have the potential to inflict damage on your teeth because it contains a good amount of sugar and gets its fizz from carbon dioxide, which is acidic in nature and gives it the power to cause erosion of your teeth,” says New York cosmetic dentist Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS. “Like anything else, if you drink in moderation and take care of your teeth, you should be fine. Sometimes a swig of water after drinking will help neutralize and cleanse the surfaces of your teeth to lessen the chances of damage.”
In terms of how it stacks up to other cocktails as far as causing tooth decay, Dr. Shapiro says you need to compare the fizz level and the sugar content. “Some champagnes are sugar-free, but many have a high sugar content. As a general rule, mixing liquor with carbonated water (vodka soda, for example) is safer for your teeth than drinking prosecco because it has no sugar. In addition to vodka, tequila and gin also have no sugar in them and are less erosive to your teeth unless mixed with other beverages.”
Some tips to keep in mind when drinking alcohol, according to Chevy Chase, MD, cosmetic dentist Claudia C. Cotca, DDS: “Taking a sip of water after each sip of prosecco or your favorite cocktail can minimize the impact of the sugar and acid on your teeth. Regular dental examinations and early intervention will also help keep you less susceptible to the potential decay caused by these types of drinks. Another important thing to remember: Don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking alcohol because that is when they are at their softest and most sensitive state.”
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