If you guzzle Prosecco like it’s going out of fashion, you might be doing your teeth serious harm.
That’s according to a leading dentist who said the sparkling beverage is leading to increased levels of tooth erosion and decay.
Dr Richard Coates, from Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry in Sunderland and Newcastle, issued the warning after figures revealed that people in the UK consumed 77 million litres of Prosecco last year compared to just two million litres in 2009.
Carbonated soft drinks and fizzy alcohol are both capable of causing huge amounts of damage to teeth because of acid erosion, which can damage both dentine and enamel.
But according to Dr Coates, Prosecco is twice as problematic than other drinks.
“Prosecco is the double whammy – the acidity causes erosion but because it’s so sweet, it also contributes to tooth decay,” he said.
“It is much worse than Champagne because that isn’t so sweet.”
Dr Coates explained that the lower the PH level, the more damaging it is to the teeth. Dentine dissolves at a PH of 6.5 while enamel dissolves at 5.5.
Prosecco has a PH of just 3.25 – the same as some of the most popular soft drinks which have been previously linked with enamel erosion.
“We are seeing more and more people suffering from erosion than decay these days because of the amount of acidity in the liquids they’re drinking,” Dr Coates continued.
So what can you do to minimise damage?
“It may not look very cool but drinking it through a straw rather than a glass can protect teeth,” Dr Coates said.
“But the main solution is to make sure that you don’t overindulge by drinking more than a couple of glasses at any one time.
“At the same time people should wait a few hours before brushing their teeth if they’ve been drinking Prosecco or other fizzy drinks, to give the enamel time to harden up again.”