Cheers! You Can Enjoy Red Wine and Still Smile
Do visions of stained teeth prevent you from enjoying that glass of red wine you’ve been craving? So many of us love to sip a nice Merlot or Pinot Noir but dread the unsightly aftereffects. But don’t forgo that glass of red (or switch to white) just yet! We’ve got the facts about what really happens to your teeth when you drink red wine… and tips to help you preserve your pearly whites.
So, if it’s almost the weekend, fill a glass and don’t fear – red wine doesn’t have to be your smile’s worst enemy!
Why Does Red Wine Stain Your Teeth?
The grapes used to make the red wine we love contain natural red pigments (aka, anthocyanins), along with tannins and acids. The tannins “help” bind the pigment to your teeth while the high acidity in red wine is what breaks down the tooth enamel. Essentially, when we drink red wine, the enamel becomes more porous causing the wine to stain the teeth. In a nutshell, when you combine anthocyanins, tannins and acidity, they form a trifecta of teeth troubles!
How Can You Prevent Red Wine From Staining Your Teeth?
The good news for wine enthusiasts is that you can continue to enjoy red wine while maintaining a healthy smile. Here are some of Dr. E’s favorite tips for wine lovers:
Swish! Water helps restore your mouth’s pH levels, counterbalancing the effects of acid in wine and cleansing the teeth. A subtle swish between glasses or sips can help prevent staining. Bonus: water will also fend off that dreaded hangover!
Eat. Don’t forget to break out the charcuterie board! Enjoying cheese and crackers with your wine helps stimulate saliva production, which rinses the red away from your teeth. As if you needed any more arm-twisting, the cheese board is not only delish; it also protects your smile.
Mix. Don’t worry – we wouldn’t dare suggest that you mix white with your red. But we DO recommend that you make a homemade paste by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water. Brushing your teeth with this paste a few times per week can help remove more stubborn stains. (Note: you can also look for a whitening toothpaste that contains baking soda at your local drug store).
Prep. Take some dental precautions before you take your first sip! Brushing and flossing before you drink helps remove any plaque from your teeth that attracts staining. Interestingly enough, it’s not a great idea to brush immediately after you drink wine. That’s because the acidity in wine can cause healthy enamel to erode during brushing. Wait approximately 30 minutes and then brush away!
See Dr. E! If you are mindful of the above steps and you still suffer from unsightly wine teeth stains, it’s time to contact your dentist. The Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team will give your mouth a thorough cleaning and Dr. E may also recommend a safe, effective in-home or professional whitening treatment such as Glo Teeth Whitening to help remove any stubborn or extreme discoloration or staining.
So, as you look forward to toasting the end of another busy week, be sure to keep the above tips in mind and remember that drinking responsibly also means taking care of your smile! : )
Is it time for a cleaning? Contact Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today!