Before you raise a glass of the shamrock-colored brew in one of Philly’s many Irish pubs, you might want to think about the last time you paid a visit to the dentist — especially if you plan on being anybody’s wing man. “Green beer can act like the colorful disclosing plaque rinses used to teach kids where they’re missing brushing and make your teeth just scream with green color on the parts where the problems are,” cautions Dr. Joseph Roberts, a Philadelphia Top Dentist and co-owner of Rittenhouse’s Philly Smiles. So if it’s been awhile since you had a professional cleaning you might want to opt for a regular brew. “The green food coloring that is added to the beer stains the bacterial cell walls in plaque. So if his smile is looking all green it’s probably not just the beer,” jokes Roberts. “And you should keep drinking, too.”
Of course, don’t go overboard and run out to have your teeth whitened or pick up tons of whitening strips the day before you celebrate all things Irish. “The tooth can be a little dehydrated after whitening,” explains Roberts. “A recently bleached tooth draws fluids back into the outer layers, so obviously green beer would not be the first choice. But as long as the whitening has been completed seven days earlier, it’s not a problem.”
What to do if you end up with a Leprechaun’s smile? “Fix it in the morning with toothpaste and Whitestrips for the immediate problem, and a trip to your dentist for the real problem,” says Roberts. After all, if your smile is a shade of green after a few sips it’s a good sign you’ve been neglecting those chompers.