It’s Dry July NZ, when New Zealanders are encouraged to abstain from drinking alcohol.
Giving up alcohol has health benefits, which include a healthier mouth, teeth and gums.
We explain why your teeth will thank you when you take part in Dry July 2023.
What is Dry July?
Dry July encourages people to give up alcohol for the entire month to help support people who have been affected by cancer, their loved ones and carers.
Participants can sign up for the challenge of Dry July and ask family, friends and colleagues to sponsor them.
Funds raised go towards a range of services, equipment and facilities to help those affected by cancer, including wellness programs, accommodation projects and information resources.
When you take part in Dry July, not only are you raising funds for a fantastic cause, but you will also reap many rewards yourself! These include the health benefits of:
- Higher energy levels
- Better mental health
- Feeling of achievement
- Clearer skin
- Improved sleep
- Better mental performance
How can my oral health benefit?
The benefits don’t stop there. When you give up alcohol, you’re also doing your mouth, teeth and gums a favour — here’s how:
Improved hydration: If you recognise that unpleasant “dry mouth” feeling the morning after drinking, then you’ll be pleased to know that giving up alcohol means better hydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases the release of water from your body. So when you have a break from it, you’ll instantly notice that your mouth feels better. Hydration is essential for the production of saliva, which has a role in protecting your teeth from decay, so it’s a win-win for you and your teeth!
Less sugar: Did you know that many alcoholic drinks — including beer, wine and spirits — are high in sugar? That explains the link between alcohol and teeth decay. Once you cut alcoholic drinks out, you’ll reduce the amount of sugar that comes into contact with your teeth and so lessen your chances of decay.
Reduced discolouration: Alcoholic drinks can also affect the appearance of your teeth. Many types of wine — in particular, red varieties — can cling to tooth enamel and stain teeth. Beer is guilty too. So cut out the alcohol and look forward to a cleaner, more sparkly smile.
Get back into good habits: You know how it is when you’ve had a few drinks — it’s all too easy to fall straight into bed without brushing your teeth. Quit alcohol for the month, and you’ll be more focused on maintaining a great health and hygiene routine — and we guarantee you’ll feel all the better for it!
Reduce your risk of mouth cancer: Drinking alcohol increases your risk of mouth cancer. In fact, it’s the highest risk factor for the disease in New Zealand (1), which means there’s another good reason to cut down on alcohol this July. With around 250 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in New Zealand every year (2), it’s worth cutting out alcohol for this reason alone.
Celebrate going alcohol-free with the Opal Dental team
Why not combine your alcohol-free month with a trip to the dentist? Whether you’re due for a check-up or want to make the most of your healthier teeth with a whitening treatment, reach out to the team here at Opal Dental.
We’re your local dental practice for the Te Atatu Peninsula and surroundings, and we love seeing our patients, old and new!
So book an appointment today and celebrate going alcohol-free and taking care of those pearly whites with us!