Earlier this year we were warned about Avocado Hand, a “condition” that occurs when you slice your hand instead of the avocado you’re trying to cut. Now Dr Mervyn Druian, of the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry has coined the term Prosecco Smile, and alerted people about the risks that excessive drinking of Prosecco and other sparkling wines, specially those high in sugar, pose for one’s teeth.
The story has gone viral across British media, a country that drank about 40 million litres of Prosecco last year and where consumption of the Italian bubbly has grown rapidly and consistently over the last few years.
“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”, Dr Mervyn told the Daily Mail. He warned that women, who “especially enjoy Prosecco” can sip a few glasses of it but unlike other wines, it’s often drunk without a meal.
“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” he added.
Prosecco’s combination of carbonation, sugar and alcohol is a recipe for enamel erosion, especially when drunk in large quantities.
So, what can we do? Taking good care of your teeth in general is a good start and of course, drinking in moderation. Another good idea is to opt for drier sparkling wines.
If you’re looking for bubbles sans the sugar, keep an eye on the label: ironically, “Demi-Sec” and “Sec” bottles will have a hefty amount of added sweetness, while those labelled as “Brut” or “Extra Brut” will be less sugary.
If you want fizz with the minimum amount of sugar, order Brut Nature, which has between 0 to 3 grams of residual sugar per litre (a Demi-Sec bottle has 32 to 50 grams of residual sugar per litre).
Another good idea is to alternate your Prosecco with sips of water and even if it sounds counter-intuitive, don’t run to brush your teeth just after drinking, as your teeth’s enamel will be at its most vulnerable. Instead, drink water and wait for an hour before brushing.