Wine drinkers around the world who enjoy a specific type of sparkling wine may have a new reason to cut back on their favorite bubbly beverage. It seems prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy that’s been touted as a cheaper alternative to champagne, is causing a lot of oral health problems. The effervescent drink has been rising in popularity globally, but dentists are cautioning that, while delicious, the Italian-made prosecco could be causing damage to drinkers’ teeth. Much like champagne (that is only made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France), prosecco is a sparkling wine made from grapes that can only be grown in Veneto, Italy. But prosecco has the benefit of being just as delicious as champagne and far more affordable – and thus more drinkable. Unfortunately, prosecco does have a pretty big drawback: It has been found to cause serious damage to the teeth. That’s because the fizzy prosecco has a high level of acidity – a pH of a little bit more than three, which is the equivalent of drinking orange juice or soda. But shockingly prosecco has more sugar than soda! Between all that sugar and all that acid, those tiny bubbles are wreaking havoc on teeth, causing something that dentists have dubbed a “prosecco smile.” So, what is a prosecco smile? It’s a smile marked by a white line across the teeth caused by damage to the tooth’s enamel. The good news is that a prosecco smile is totally preventable. Yes, there’s always the option of simply not drinking the buoyant beverage, but where’s the fun in that? If, like an increasing number of consumers, you must have your prosecco, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your teeth are protected from those bad little bubbles.
Limit Your Intake
No, you don’t have to give up prosecco – or any other drink – as long as it is drunk in moderation. But because of the acid and bubbles in prosecco, it’s a wise idea to limit what you drink in one sitting.
As you drink, alternate sips of prosecco with water. This will help rinse off the teeth as you drink and keep weakened enamel to a minimum.
Hold Off on Brushing
When you drink prosecco (or any other acidic beverage, for that matter), you weaken the tooth enamel, making the teeth softer and more vulnerable to damage. To keep enamel damage to a minimum, do not brush teeth immediately after drinking prosecco. Wait at least 30 minutes so the enamel has a chance to re-harden before you pull out your brush
Don’t let potential damage ruin a great glass of wine. Just put these tips into practice and enjoy! To schedule an appointment with Dr. George, please call 724-220-2347.