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Beer and Teeth

Yup, the traditional green beer’s back tonight in the bars up and down the strip. And with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, it should be extra revelrous out there this year.

So since it’s the unofficial holiday of beer, we thought we’d look at how beer affects your teeth, and what you should think about ordering this year to have a good time while respecting your oral health.

Staining

You won’t have staining problems with ales and lagers; however, not so with stouts. Roasted malt and barley is what gives a stout its flavour but it also give it its dark colour which rubs off on teeth and can turn them a shade of grey, yellow or even blue. The blue comes from the dark berries most stouts are brewed with.

In fact the colour concentration in some stout beers is so strong that it can be impervious to teeth whitening treatments.

Acidic

All beer is acidic, ranging from 5.8 on the pH scale for craft beers all the way down 2.0 for some European sour beers. Acid demineralizes enamel which leads to decay.

If you’re not prepared to give up the refreshing taste of a cold beer, especially with cottage season coming up, think about foods to neutralize the acid’s effect.

For example, if you’re going to go out partying this weekend, load up on ginger, leafy greens, and bananas for breakfast. These “basic” foods will keep the pH levels in your mouth from getting too high, and do the same for your stomach.

Surprisingly helpful aspects of beer

• Beer releases more gastric acid from stomach cells to control the growth of bacteria in your belly.
• Beer can decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholester-ol.
• Moderate consumption of beer has been shown to decrease the chances of kidney stones by 40% because it naturally flushes your system.
• Barley and hops have high levels of silicon and calcium. Both are good for strong bones, teeth, nails and hair.
• Hops have antibacterial properties that deter the development of microorganisms in the mouth.
• Last but not least, the tannins in beer have properties similar to fluoride and help keep bacteria from attaching to teeth.

Keep these in mind as you head out tonight. And please drink responsibly. Happy St. Patty’s Day!