Straight Talking Orthodontics – how does the festive season affect our teeth?

Straight Talking Orthodontics

To kick off the festive season, this month Shivani Patel discusses festive drinks and what you should be informing your patients. 

I know that most dentists are aware of the drawbacks of the drinks we drink – both dentists and patients.

This little summary is a good reminder for us to re-educate our patients during this time of year. It also helps to remind ourselves of what self indulgence is doing to our own teeth.

With the festive season rolling in, we are starting to get invites to Christmas drinks and parties. Whilst alcoholic drinks are all part of the festive mood, are they the best thing for your teeth?


Coming in at number one is everybody’s favourite go-to Christmas drink to always start the party off.

However, with the acidic carbonated bubbles, alcohol and sugar, prosecco is a triple whammy of badness for your teeth.

There’s one heaped teaspoon of sugar present in every flute! This can cause major drama for your tooth enamel.  Avoid the bubbles and you wont suffer from the prosecco smile!


If you want perfect teeth then avoid drinking cider.

This popular beverage also has a very high acidity level which can erode the enamel overtime when consistently consumed.

Dark beers

Stouts and ales should be off your list if you want your teeth to stay white. Or if you want your ceramic braces not to stain.

They can contribute to the staining of teeth and white ceramic fixed braces (like all dark drinks do, such as tea, coffee and red wine).

Perhaps swap it with a lighter beer or lager.


Spirits like malibu are delicious because they are incredibly high in sugar content.

Sugary drink consumption when wearing any type of fixed braces can easily cause dental decay under the brackets. This can go unnoticed until the day of de-bond.

Typically we see patients that have consumed a high sugar diet with white and brown rectangular staining that is very difficult to mask.

Dry drinks

Dry beverages, like some wines and beers, can having a temporary drying effect in your mouth and reduce saliva flow.

As we all know, saliva plays a very important part in neutralising sugars in the mouth.


Now we can’t always blame the alcohol. The mixers that go with them, such as coke, lemonade, orange juice and cranberry juice, have a high acidic and sugar level.

This does an excellent job of destroying your enamel.


For those that refrain from the above indulgence, let me warn you that as posh as it is to drink sparkling water, it doesn’t do wonders for your skin or teeth either.

It’s not great at hydrating your skin, and all those carbonated bubbles cause erosion (not to mention the bloating under that wonderful Christmas outfit).

Catch up on previous Straight Talking Orthodontics columns:

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