With five million of us giving up the booze this time last year, Dry January has officially become A Thing – part of the public consciousness, and something that the majority of people are now aware of.
Conceived in 2011 by Alcohol Concern, Dry January started out with just a few thousand participants – so the rise to five million by 2017 is quite remarkable. And it’s one bandwagon that we at 543 Dental are very happy to jump on – because while going dry promises a host of benefits for brain and body, it has a hugely positive impact on our teeth, too. So, in aid of Dry January we’ve rounded up the top three reasons why you should give your teeth a rest from your favourite tipple this month.
Reason #1: alcohol risks mouth cancer.
You might know that smoking is the major cause mouth cancer, but did you know alcohol plays its part too? Excessive drinking puts you four times more at risk of mouth cancer – and if you happen to smoke as well, that number soars to 30. Taking a month off alcohol with Dry January will help get you into the habit of not drinking every night, and make it easier to stick to a healthier outlook in future. At 543 Dental our hygienists can help you make permanent changes to your smoking and drinking habits, so don’t forget to schedule your next appointment.
Reason #2: alcohol attacks teeth.
Alcohol is high in the main contributors to tooth erosion and decay – acid and sugar. Mixing in fizzy drinks or fruit juice might water down your drink, but it’s an even more potent cocktail when it comes to your dental enamel, the shield that protects teeth from cavities and staining. And that’s not all – you know that ‘dry mouth’ feeling after a night out? It’s a symptom of saliva reduction, caused by alcohol – and a major indicator that your teeth are vulnerable to erosion and decay. Doing Dry January will give you a chance to get on top of your oral hygiene so that when you do indulge in a drink, your teeth and gums are in the best possible condition.
Reason #3: alcohol stains teeth.
We all know red wine is a major culprit when it comes to stained teeth – but while those dark surface stains that appear over an evening on the red can mostly be brushed away, the greater damage is less immediately obvious. Any form of alcohol – white and sparkling wines, beer and even clear spirits – will attack your tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to yellow or brown staining. Dry January will give your teeth a rest from alcohol attacks – and it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a teeth-whitening session!
But it’s not all bad news! Here are the things you can do to ease your way through an alcohol-free month:
- Get the app. The Dry January & Beyond app tracks your progress each day, detailing the money you saved and the weight you’ve shed; offering motivational support; and linking to useful articles.
- Visit your hygienist. Dry January is the perfect reason to treat yourself to a deep clean at the hygienist – that smooth, shiny, plaque-free smile will boost your confidence and motivate you to maintain the results. Your hygienist will also be able to help with longer-term lifestyle changes, from stopping smoking to eating better.
- Do something new. Chances are your head is clearer and you’re sleeping better if you’re doing Dry January – so there’s no better time to try a new hobby. It’ll provide the perfect distraction from the temptation of cracking open a bottle.
- Reward yourself! You’ll have saved a lot of money doing Dry January – so why not treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted? From bespoke teeth whitening to fast teeth straightening and facial aesthetics, you can access a comprehensive range of cosmetic treatments, all under one roof at 543 Dental.