Avoid “green teeth” this St. Patrick’s Day!

1. The traditional “green beer.”

DO: Enjoy yourself, but enjoy in moderation. Sugars and starches in alcohol will attack the enamel and gums. Alcohol also dries out your mouth, decreasing the saliva that helps reduce cavities.

DON’T: Forget to hydrate. Drinking plenty of water is important if you are planning on partaking in the festivities.

2. Celebrating the holiday with a night out.

DO: Remember to brush and floss before bed. If you have been drinking and come home late it can be easy to forget but it is extremely important. You need to remove the sugar and bacteria on your teeth.

DON’T: Miss out on sleep. If you are out so late that you can barely get in a few hours of sleep this can damage your health. Lack of sleep can speed up periodontal disease.

3. A festive menu

DO: Enjoy traditional Irish foods. Choose a healthy, balanced meal such as corned beef and cabbage, Irish lamb stew, or Shepard’s pie. Here are a few ideas for dinner.

DON’T Skip dinner to save room for that green beer! It is best to have a meal before a night out. Alcohol diffuses through the stomach quickly, the less in your stomach, the faster it will enter your blood stream. In addition, having a nutritional home cooked meal before you go will be healthier than any of the food served at the pub or bar.

4. Be green.

DO: Embrace the holiday fun by wearing green and eating “green.” Green foods don’t have to mean green food coloring. There are many naturally green foods out there that you can add to the menu instead of green cookies, green candies, and green colored beverages. (Broccoli, peas, brussels sprouts, cucumber, peppers, avocado, kiwi spinach, kale, grapes, green beans, apples, lettuce, etc.)

DON’T: Overuse green food coloring. Many food dyes can be dangerous. Artificial color can cause health problems. Enjoy one green colored treat and pass on the rest.

Are you planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What are your favorite foods or activities?

May the luck of the Irish be with you!