Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For some people, one of the holiday’s most beloved traditions — besides wearing a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirt — is drinking festively colored green beer. But before you take a sip of your first pint, cosmetic dentist Darian Hampton, who serves the North Dallas area, urges you to consider how this beverage could affect your pearly whites.
The Source of the Stains
Most bars that offer green beer add a green food coloring liquid to their kegs to give the beer its emerald hue. The green dye stains the bacterial cell walls in plaque, and sticks to areas where excessive plaque has accumulated. Some dental experts point out that the green tint acts similarly to mouth rinses that children use to reveal where they’ve “missed a spot.”
If you haven’t had your teeth professionally cleaned in a while and you enjoy a pint of green beer, you could be stuck with a ghoulishly green smile at tomorrow’s morning meetings. What will your boss think of that?
If you do decide to imbibe a pint or two of green beer to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, make sure you brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash before hitting the sheets. This will prevent the coloring agent in the beer from seeping into your tooth enamel and discoloring your teeth.
Or, if you don’t mind looking a little silly, sipping beer through a straw can limit the colorant from directly touching your teeth.
Are Other Beers Harmful to the Teeth?
Good news for Budweiser lovers: regular, lighter-colored beers don’t stain the teeth as much as green beer does. However, darker beers like Guinness, which are crafted with roasted barley or black patent malt, may cause discoloration.
A word to the wise: Whether you decide to enjoy light beer, dark beer or green beer, do not ever try to open a beer bottle or beer can with your teeth — this is potentially extremely harmful to the teeth, as they can chip or break easily, requiring extensive dental work.
Contact Dr. Hampton
If you’d like to brighten up a dull-looking smile with a teeth whitening treatment or another cosmetic dentistry solution, please contact Dr. Darian Hampton by emailing us or by calling 972-695-4594.