When preparing for a night out with friends, the last thing most people might think about is the well-being of their teeth. After all, you are going out to drink alcohol, not to binge on cakes, soft drinks and chocolate. However, it isn't the alcohol alone that causes damage to your teeth—it is what the alcohol makes you do that causes the most costly damage.

Next time you plan to drink alcohol with friends, remind everyone that your teeth need as much care as your body before and during a painful hangover.

Drink Lots of Water Before and After the Party

When you drink alcohol, especially for long periods of time, such as those spent at parties, your body becomes dehydrated. Alcohol causes dehydration by lowering your body's ability to reabsorb water. Alcohol is 95% water and 5% alcohol; however, instead of your kidney's absorbing this water as they would from something like fruit juice, they excrete it as urine.

Why is this important to teeth? Your teeth depend on saliva to balance the pH level of your mouth and to kill harmful bacteria that might otherwise flourish. Saliva also cleans food debris from your teeth, which prevents bacteria from feeding on that debris and causing a cavity.

Without water, your body cannot produce saliva, which means that after a drink, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities.

Refrain From Opening Bottles With Your Teeth

This is fairly obvious; however, many people still do it. While teeth are the hardest substance in the human body, they are not impervious to damage and may fracture if you use them as levers.

Wear a Gum Shield if You Grind at Night

Caffeine and alcohol are known to make night time teeth-grinding worse. If you have been known to grind in the past, it might be a good idea to invest in an orthodontic mouth guard to protect your teeth as you sleep.

Wash Your Mouth Out Thoroughly if You Vomit

The saliva in your mouth should always have a pH of at least 7.0. Below that, your teeth will begin to dissolve. It may be a slow process, but once you lose enamel, it doesn't grow back. Stomach acid has a pH of about 2. If you sometimes vomit when you drink, be sure to wash your mouth out afterwards; otherwise, your teeth may begin to rot.

Brush Your Teeth with Baking Soda and Vinegar Afterwards

Because alcohol is darker than your teeth, and your teeth are porous, over time, your teeth may begin to change colour. Red wine is the worst culprit in this regard. After your party, if you remember, brush your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Mix the two ingredients into a thick paste before brushing your teeth. Then, brush your teeth with this mixture once before bed and once upon waking up to keep stains at bay.

Whether you believe yourself to be blessed with a great set of teeth or not, you should always consider the damage that a drink or two might do to your teeth. While the after morning headache might seem to be more important, any damage done to your teeth might not become apparent until it's too late to avoid costly dental treatment. Talk to your dentist for more tips for protecting your teeth,