Dry January – is it worth it?

Of course it is! Quitting the booze for a month not only gives your liver a well-earned rest after Christmas, it has huge benefits for your dental health too. Here’s how.

Tooth decay & tooth erosion
Alcohol is high in acid and sugar, the two main contributors to tooth decay. Add fizzy drinks or fruit juice into the mix and you have a pretty lethal cocktail when it comes to your dental enamel, the shield that protects teeth from cavities and staining. And that’s not all – alcohol reduces saliva too, which is needed to neutralise the acid in your mouth. That ‘dry mouth’ feeling after a night out is a major indicator that your teeth are vulnerable to erosion and decay.  

Mouth cancer
Excessive drinking is a major cause of mouth cancer – statistics show that heavy drinkers are four times more at risk than non-drinkers. And while most of us wouldn’t consider ourselves to be a heavy drinker, not everyone is aware of the impact of combining smoking with drinking. If you smoke as well as drink alcohol, you’re 30 times more at risk of getting mouth cancer. 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.

Staining
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 of red-wine drinking can be mostly brushed away, the greater damage is less obvious. Any form of alcohol – white and sparkling wines, beer and even clear spirits – will attack your tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to deep staining. Dry January will give your teeth a rest from alcohol – plus, there’s no better time to treat yourself to a teeth-whitening session!

Tips for making it through the month
1. Get the app. The Dry January & Beyond app tracks your progress each day, showing how much money and calories you’ve saved and offering motivational support and links to useful articles.
2. Visit your hygienist. A confidence-boosting scale and polish will motivate you to keep your teeth healthy and stain-free. Plus you’ll get lots of advice to help with any lifestyle changes you want to make – from getting through Dry January to stopping smoking and eating mindfully.

3. Distract yourself with a new hobby. 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 something new.

4. Treats! You’ll have saved a lot of money doing Dry January – so why not reward yourself with the smile you’ve always wanted? From bespoke teeth whitening to dental implants and facial aesthetics, you can access a comprehensive range of cosmetic treatments with Rhiwbina Dental – and our 0% finance options make it even easier.