Beer Good for Teeth?

I’ve heard this statement repeated by several people at various times. Either they say it helps prevent cavities or that it whitens teeth. They usually mention something about the yeast or hops. Any truth to this assertion?

I hope so. I’ll be stopping by this thread for confirmation.

I have never heard this, but since beer contains little if any sugar and does contain alcohol it seems like something bacteria won’t like.

No cites other than a mention in the Wiki article but hops are also supposed to have some antibiotic-like effects that aren’t effective against yeast but are against some other possible competition.

A lot of American beers don’t have hops (or don’t taste like it), and strictly speaking none of them contain hops but rather the oils of essence. So if you don’t brush or floss, and hops is the magic, you’re better off with an India pale ale versus, say, Coors Light.

The alcohol may kill some of the germs, but you still have the acids and plaques that were already created before you killed off the germs. It’s not the germs so much that cause damage to your teeth and gums, but their waste products. I guess it’s some type of poetic justice that you fight germ pee with yeast pee, but you still have to brush and floss to remove the buildup.

Remember that sugar’s not the problem per se; it’s only feed for the germs. Because it’s sticky and gooey it’ll stick to your teeth and gums and promote a lot of germ activity. So if you’re not going to brush your teeth, I guess you could argue that beer is better than Coca Cola for your teeth.

Beer, the solution to and cause of…

Remember that alcohol is a great solvent as well, though beer contains very little (IIRC about 5%), but the dissolving properties may get rid of some of the ‘germ pee’, and would be better to dissolve sugar that has stuck to your teeth from that coke you had earlier.

While this is anecdotal, even so.

A friend of mine was at an academic bash in London and got sick of the sherry, so he started sniffing round the booze table for a beer.

He got into conversation with a medical professor and a prof of dentistry (in the UK prof means something) who had got the same idea.

The medic said that it is actually rather beneficial to get slightly squiffy once a day

  • and the dental guy said that ‘beer is the best mouthwash known to man’


Can’t we find some more concrete evidence on this?

Well, I asked my beer-drinking, dentist wife last night and the definitive answer is that there’s nothing special about beer that makes it especially good for your teeth. The only thing we can do is consider its qualities versus the qualities of other food. When offered the soda pop versus beer example, she indicated that beer was much less harmful than the soft drink for your teeth.