The New Year approaches, and we have many reasons to celebrate! One is that 2021 is over. Another is that we have a brand new year ahead of us, with endless possibilities. That’s reason enough to raise a glass of bubbly and say “Cheers!” to your friends and family as we ring out the old and ring in the new.
What is Champagne?
Champagne is a sparkling wine developed by Benedictine monks in the late 1600’s by accident. The famous friar Dom Perignon was quoted saying, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” Champagne and other sparkling wines are associated with celebration and festivities.
We often have champagne toasts at engagement parties, weddings, and retirement feasts. And we certainly pop quite a few corks on New Year’s Eve! As we do, let’s consider its effects on the teeth.
Is Champagne Bad for Your Teeth?
We know. You didn’t want to hear that. We don’t like it, either. But it is true. Champagne is pretty bad for the teeth. It’s actually even worse than other types of wine.
Champagne typically has a higher sugar content than everything except sweet or dessert wines. More sugar always raises the risk for cavities. The bacteria in dental plaque “eat” sugar and produce acid to soften and penetrate tooth enamel. The more sugar you provide for these bacteria in your diet, the higher your risk is for developing new cavities.
Champagne is also more acidic than most other types of wine, both red and white. The pH of champagne and sparkling wine is usually lower than 3, and this measurement categorizes it as a strong acid. This acidic pH makes all of the enamel in your mouth weaker so that it is easier for bacteria to cause cavities. Basically, an acidic pH lowers the threshold for the amount of bacteria and sugar necessary to create a cavity.
I’m Not Skipping the Champagne on New Year’s Eve. What Can I Do to Protect my Teeth?
We appreciate your honesty. Here are some great tips for protecting your teeth from the sugar and acid attacks of champagne.
Drink Water between Glasses of Champagne
If all you consume is champagne, the pH in your mouth will maintain a low, acidic level. This is where bacteria thrive. Instead, drink plain (not sparkling) water between your champagne glasses. Swish it around your mouth before swallowing. This will help quickly neutralize the pH back to 7 and protect your enamel from acid.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum Frequently
Sugar-free gum is actually even better than swishing plain water. This is due to the stimulation of natural saliva flow caused by chewing gum. Our saliva is the body’s best defense against cavities. It is slightly alkaline in pH, and it carries essential minerals that can re-harden and strengthen enamel that has been damaged by acid.
Opt for a Professional Fluoride Treatment at Your Next Dental Visit
Fluoride is one of the best and most accessible minerals we have to strengthen our enamel. By using fluoride daily in your toothpaste and mouthwash, you help keep your enamel hard and resistant to acid attacks.
When you need an extra boost of strength (to fight cavities or to reduce sensitivity), you can have a professional fluoride treatment called a varnish. We can apply this to your teeth at any visit without prior notice. Simply tell your dentist or hygienist that you are interested in a fluoride treatment. They will hook you up.
You can even mention that you happened to have lots of champagne on NYE…. There is no judgment here.
We look forward to caring for you in 2022.