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Why your body, brain and teeth will thank you for doing Dry January

dry january and teeth

With so many social events happening at the close of the year, it’s all too easy to find yourself cracking open a bottle at random times of the day during December. Giving yourself a break from the booze in January will allow your body to reset itself – and sort out a host of alcohol-related issues in the process.

The problem: bad breath
Alcohol reduces saliva flow, which causes ‘morning mouth’. That dry environment is a party palace for bacteria – who, without all that acid-neutralising saliva, will happily hang around, interacting with all the food and drink on your teeth, and causing your breath to smell.

The fix: get thee to a hygienist and hit refresh with a deep professional clean – so you can start your New Year with a plaque-free, shiny-white smile that no one will shy away from.

The problem: the shakes
You might think “the shakes” is part and parcel of a hangover and proof of a good night out – but in reality, shaking is an alcohol-withdrawal symptom; you’re essentially going cold turkey, and that’s not a good thing.

The fix: wait it out. Don’t be tempted to try hair of the dog – it’ll create a vicious cycle leading back to the shakes a few hours later. Use the experience as ammunition to get you through Dry January. Download the app for extra encouragement.

The problem: yellow and decayed teeth
If you only drink prosecco and vodka, you might think you’re being far kinder to your teeth than those reckless red-wine drinkers. Well, you’d be wrong! Any alcohol, clear or coloured, is high in sugar, which attacks your enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable. And if you prefer your tipple with bubbles – even a spritz of soda – you’re giving teeth an added hit of acid – this can cause erosion, a form of tooth wear.

The fix: Dry January is proven to help establish a less-heavy drinking habit for the rest of the year. So, habits transformed (and money saved), there’s no better time to have a professional teeth-whitening treatment. Drinking less can prolong the effects of your whitening.

The problem: your liver
Just like gum disease, liver disease is known as the silent killer because you can live with it for decades before you realise there’s a problem – at which point, it’s sometimes too advanced to treat effectively. And, again like gum disease, liver disease is 90% preventable if you make the right lifestyle choices. Reducing your alcohol intake will not only take the pressure off your liver, but reduce your risk of oral cancer too.

The fix: Dry January will give your liver a well-earned rest – and give you a chance to reassess your drinking habits and curb them during the rest of the year. Make oral hygiene your New Year resolution and kick-start a regime that you promise not to break – your hygienist is your go-to for professional advice on the most up-to-date techniques and products.

The problem: body issues
Weight gain, low immunity and a ruddy or sallow complexion are all side-effects of overdoing the sauce. Giving your body a break from the booze in January will have you feeling a little lighter and looking a lot healthier.

The fix: Dry January deserves a reward. But before you reach for the Champagne, why not consider a longer-term alternative? Smooth away the stress of the season with a facial aesthetic treatment; book a consultation for a smile makeover or perhaps make this the year you improve your quality of life with dental implants. There’s no better proof of a healthy, happy person than their gorgeous, natural smile.

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