Prosecco could be causing you dental issues
In these modern, affluent times of bottomless brunches and countless Uber journeys, the gentrification of the millennial generation is clear to see. However, that's not to say that anyone's richer. In this increasingly connected and image-conscious world, people want to be seen to be metropolitan, cultured and affluent.
With this in mind, why wouldn't you opt for a bottle of prosecco to go with your luxury ready meal? Champagne's more approachable sister, after all, is very in vogue as well as being a fairly tasty tipple. Well, for any prosecco enthusiasts, I have some bad news.
In what has lovingly been named "prosecco smile", dental experts are warning that the bubbly beverage could cause its proponents issues. "The signs of prosecco smile are where the teeth come out of the gum," Dr Mervyn Druian of the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry told Mail Online.
This is concerning news for shameless drunkards and aspiring rich people alike. However, it's especially bad news for the people of the UK, who are regularly tempted in by offers on prosecco in supermarkets and who drank 40m litres of it last year. To put that in perspective, that's 16 olympic-sized swimming pools...
"It is acidic and it has sugar in it so, while a few glasses are fine, if you drink too much of it you are going to have a problem," explains Dr Druian. "The signs of prosecco smile are where the teeth come out of the gum. It starts with a white line just below the gum, which if you probe it is a little bit soft, and that is the beginning of tooth decay which can lead to fillings and dental work."
Furthermore, it seems that women are most likely to be affected: "Women especially enjoy prosecco but unlike wine, which you often have with a meal, it is very easy to just keep sipping prosecco and have a few glasses without noticing."
"Prosecco offers a triple whammy of carbonation, sweetness and alcohol, which can put your teeth at risk, leading to sensitivity and enamel erosion," explains Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser for the British Dental Association. "Carbonated beverages get their fizz from the release of carbon dioxide, which dissolves into carbonic acid. This provides a refreshing taste but also makes these drinks more acidic. Added to that, prosecco comes with about one teaspoon of sugar per flute."
However, just when you thought dentists had finished providing their two cents, Dr Richard Coates of Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry had this to say: "It is much worse than champagne because that isn’t so sweet."
"Prosecco has a PH of just 3.25," he explains, "making it similarly acidic to fizzy drinks, and weakens tooth enamel, which can then be damaged further if people brush their teeth too soon after drinking it. It may not look very cool but drinking it through a straw rather than a glass can protect teeth."
"But the main solution is to make sure that you don’t over indulge by drinking more than a couple of glasses at any one time," warned Dr Coates. "People should wait a few hours before brushing their teeth if they’ve been drinking prosecco to give the enamel time to harden."
Luckily, it seems we can still enjoy prosecco but only in moderation which, to be fair, is what Drinkaware have been telling us about alcohol for decades. So remember - enjoy prosecco but don't drink too much of it. Oh, and don't brush your teeth too soon afterwards. You need that enamel to harden.