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Hands clinking glasses of red wine

How to Avoid Wine Teeth

Jun 12, 2020 · Filed under Education

As some of our adult patients know, drinking a glass of wine is a great way to wind down at the end of the day. If you’re a fan of red wine, in particular, you’re probably familiar with “Wine Teeth”. Anything you consume can stain your teeth, and a glass of Cabernet, Merlot, or others sit at the top of that list.

How does it happen?

Wine is a triple-threat force against a bright white smile. Here’s how stains happen so easily:

  • The coloring of grapes is determined by anthocyanins. These give red wine its rich color. While wine can be pretty to look at, these anthocyanins are incredibly pigmented, and can also color your teeth.
  • Wine fans will be well aware of tannins, which can give wine its bitter notes. However, when they meet your teeth, they actually help anthocyanins bind to your enamel.
  • Lastly, another element of wine is its acidity. While it can deepen a palate, acidity found in wine can etch into your teeth, making the surface more porous, which allows the tannins to bind more easily.

What can you do to avoid this?

When you realize you have wine teeth, your first instinct is probably to grab your toothbrush. However, the stain has unfortunately already set in. Instead, to avoid a red smile, make sure your teeth are plaque-free before taking a sip!

That’s right, brushing BEFORE, not after, is the best way to prevent wine teeth. It’s important to brush at least 30 minutes before drinking though, as freshly-brushed teeth are actually too porous to withstand stains and damage and could do more harm than good.

After that, here are a few more tips to make sure you avoid wine teeth:

  1. Drink and swish water! Not only does it help you stay hydrated, but it clears any lingering pigment from the surface of your teeth.
  2. Eat food as you drink. What’s the perfect pairing with wine? Cheese, of course! Eating while drinking helps your mouth produce saliva, which dislodges particles, reduces the acidity of the wine, and acts as a barrier to the tannins and anthocyanins.
  3. Other options include buying products to reduce wine-to-teeth contact. This could be in the form of a straw OR wine wipes, which can help remove simple stains.

One basic way you can always help prevent wine teeth is to continue your routine cleanings, as well as consistently brushing and flossing!

Dr. Kyle Carney

The needs of our patients change with age, and we do our best to serve all members of your family. If you need to set up an appointment to keep your bright smile, we have availabilities for you!

Dr. Kyle Carney

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