This Friday is St. Patrick’s Day and there are tons of ways to celebrate in Harford County.
While this fun holiday is always a good excuse to celebrate, we always worry about our patients growing careless or out of control. Dentists see a 64% increase in emergency dental visits the day after St. Patrick’s Day.
We want you to have fun this St. Patrick’s Day, but we also want you to keep your oral health in mind. Before you load up on green beer and fun cocktails, keep these warnings in mind.
Beer clocks in at a 4 on the pH scale, which means that in comparison to water, it has a high level of acidity. Acids are notorious for attacking enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth designed to protect them from decay. When acids continue to attack the enamel, it can wear down and lead to cavities.
The acids you consume can attack your enamel for 20 minutes, and the attack restarts every time you take another drink. If you’re like most people and continue to sip on a beer throughout your entire St. Patrick’s Day celebration, you’re exposing your teeth to an acid bath all night long, which can do a number on your teeth.
The most important thing to remember is to brush your teeth. When intoxicated, it’s tempting to fall right into bed after a long night out and forget about your oral hygiene routine. If you do this, you’re letting those acids and plaque harm your enamel all night long. Make sure to brush your teeth after a long night out—you’ll be glad you did when you wake up with healthy teeth!
Dark beer is popular in Ireland and on St. Patrick’s day. Dark beers are often brewed with roasted malt and barley and contain pigments that can stain your teeth. One dark beer won’t do much harm, but regularly drinking them can cause the enamel to darken.
One of the most fun treats on St. Patrick’s Day is green beer. Green beer usually contains food coloring, which has acids that can attack your teeth.
If you wake up the day after St. Paddy’s Day with dark or green teeth, consider buying a whitening toothpaste or see our office for treatment!
Saliva is an important player in your oral health arsenal. A constant flow of saliva ensures that bacteria and food particles get washed away, preventing them from attacking your teeth.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of alcohol consumption. After a night of drinking, your mouth is usually parched, which means that the bacteria on your teeth is free to produce enamel-attacking acids.
Dry mouth is also a culprit of bad breath; the germs in your mouth cause bad breath. Without saliva, the odor-causing bacteria cannot be washed away.
Here in Havre de Grace, there are plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We want our patients to enjoy the holiday in a safe and healthy way. Keep these dental health warnings in mind while you’re at your celebration to stay out of the dentist’s chair on March 18th! For more information and tips, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Richard V. Grubb
203 S. Washington St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Monday: 8AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 4PM
Thursday: 8AM – 4PM
Saturday: 8AM – 1PM (once a month)