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5 myths about alcohol consumption and your oral health

Get the facts! Learn the truth about these alcohol and oral health misconceptions.

Myth #1: Alcoholic drinks help you stay hydrated.

Fact: Drinks high in alcohol, like spirits, can dry out your mouth. Not only does dry mouth cause bad breath, it also boosts your chance of cavities. Saliva keeps teeth moist and helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface.

Myth #2: Drinking beer won’t stain your teeth.

Fact: Beer is acidic, which means that teeth are more likely to be stained by the dark barley and malts found in darker beers. The color in beverages comes from chromogens, which attach to tooth enamel that’s been compromised by the acid in alcohol, and stain teeth.

Myth #3: Adding citrus (like orange juice or a spritz of lime) to an alcoholic beverage makes it healthier for your teeth.

The American Dental Association notes that even a squeeze of lemon provides enough acid to eat away at tooth enamel.

Myth #4: Alcohol consumption and oral health are unrelated.

Fact: Alcohol abuse is a common risk factor for oral cancer. People who suffer from alcohol dependency also tend to have more plaque on their teeth and are more likely to suffer from permanent tooth loss than people who don’t abuse alcohol.

Myth #5: Frequent alcohol consumption cleanses your teeth and helps you avoid cavities.

Fact: The risk of developing cavities is higher for people who drink heavily than people who don’t. People who abuse alcohol may experience dry mouth at night and neglect both personal and professional oral health care.

Last updated February 03, 2022

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.