Is Beer Actually Good for your Teeth?

Homer Simpson once called beer

“the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” Homer-simpson_WOOHOO

Whether it solves other problems is debatable, but it turns out, some beers have some benefits that help protect your teeth (if taken in moderation, of course!)

Throughout the day, our teeth are going through a process of demineralization and remineralization. A study at the University of Iowa Dental School suggests that beer with high levels of calcium and phosphate inhibits the loss of minerals from the teeth. The lighter beers, such as pilsners and IPAs, are full of calcium and silicon, which can help strengthen your teeth and bones.

The hop-heavy beers also contain tannins that are “good acids.” Research at the California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles concluded that tannins in beer are as effective as fluoride in prevent bacteria from sticking to tooth enamel. Hops contain compounds that are bacteriostatic, fungistatic and anti-inflammatory; these compounds inhibit the growth of microorganisms in the mouth and act as a natural antibiotic.

When it comes to the health of your teeth, the key factor in ANY beverage you drink is the acidity level. Sodas are known for being the most acidic, and others, like coffee, red wine and darker beers are also high in acidity, which means they can eat away at your teeth. Beers that are high in tannins and highly hopped are good for you, and craft beers made with barley malts are better for your bones than industrialized lagers made with corn or rice.

So the next time you decide to have a beer, make sure it’s in the pale ale or pilsner family and stay away from darker beers such as stouts, porters and Scottish ales, and before you trade in your toothbrush for a six-pack, remember that regular brushing and flossing is still vitally important, whether you drink beer or not.