Here are some things you can count on happening in Boca Raton on March 17th: McDonald’s will serve their Shamrock Shakes, your favorite retailers will have trinkets in every color of green, and the Dubliner will host a St. Patrick’s Day celebration to remember. Here are some things we can count on happening on March 18th: a 64% spike in emergency dental visits for men and a 39% increase for women. Why? St. Patrick’s Day may be one of America’s most beloved holidays, but the way you celebrate can wreak havoc on your teeth. Here’s how:
- Drinking Alcohol — That green beer may be an important part of your St. Patrick’s Day tradition, but the acidity, sugars, and pigments in many alcoholic beverage create the perfect storm for decay. First, the acids weaken the enamel that protects your teeth. The compromised enamel provides an opportunity for sugars and dyes to penetrate, potentially accelerating decay and staining. Whether your beverage of choice on St. Patrick’s Day is green beer, Guinness, or whisky, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after each serving.
- Eating Junk — Corned beef and cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day staple, but if you miss out on the traditional Irish fare, it may be tempting to go the easy route and gnosh on junk food (like those minty Shamrock Shakes). Starchy, sugary comfort foods may seem perfect after a night of indulgence, but they do your teeth no favors. Try to eat healthy foods that are actually good for your teeth (like raw fruits and vegetables) before or while you celebrate so you’re less likely to turn to junk food.
- Bad Habits — After a night of celebrating, you’re less likely to brush and floss before you go to bed. This allows the acids, the sugars, the junk food, and the food coloring to penetrate your teeth all night long. No matter how tired you are, stick to your nightly dental routine so you don’t wake up with sticky, green teeth.
It’s true that these aren’t likely to send you to the dentist for emergency treatment (like inebriated face plants or bar brawls would), but they’re certainly not helping your smile. At Dental Concepts, we’re happy to provide outstanding service to all people — both Irish and Irish-for-a-day — who live in Boca Raton or the surrounding communities. Contact our office to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to see your smile (and that’s no Blarney)!