Red wine can be a lovely little diversion, but how do you decrease your chances of getting red wine teeth?
There’s hardly a bad time for a good drop, especially as we welcome in the new year, but what happens when you drink a little too much? Stains and discolouration affiliated with red wine teeth are a prominent dental problem that poses a threat on any wine lover.
Even though the modest consumption of red wine can have its health benefits — including lowering the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol — the cosmetic detriment of red wine teeth is something we all aim to steer clear of to sustain our pearly whites.
We’re not here to spoil your new year celebrations, but caring about your oral health, here are a few handy tips to avoid the dreaded curse of red wine teeth!
Remember to brush before, not after
The next time you have a glass of wine, consider brushing your teeth before you imbibe rather than after.
While it might sound counterintuitive, brushing ahead of time rids your mouth of any lingering plaque, preventing the tannins in wine from latching onto the plaque on your teeth and leaving them feeling gritty and stained.
Brushing immediately after drinking should probably be avoided, however, and that’s thanks to acids. Wine is an acidic beverage, and the often sour taste it offers can leave your teeth feeling more sensitive than before. Brushing after drinking something acidic can therefore harm your enamel, altering the visible part of your teeth and affecting your smile.
Giving your teeth a thorough brush and floss before sitting down with friends, however, is a great way to avoid red wine teeth, and it ensures your breath is in its best shape for those hello kisses.
Eat as you drink
A great way to combat any chance of red wine teeth is to nibble on some food while enjoying that glass of red you normally nurse.
Cheese is a valuable source of calcium, which itself strengthens teeth and provides a protective barrier against the acids and tannins found in red wine, making wine and cheese an invaluable and delicious combination. Wine and cheese anyone?
White instead of red
While a nice glass of red is often rich and inviting, a white wine is a preferable to your teeth in some ways because the tannin levels are lower. White wine is typically made from grape juice alone, while red wine uses the skins of the grapes when being produced.
Those grape skins are where much of the tannin in red wine comes from, and while white wine has tannins, the amount is far lower than what can be found in red.
Wine can still be acidic no matter what variety you drink, however, so while white wine might not give you red wine teeth, just remember that all wine can do a little damage.
Rinse with bubbles
While you shouldn’t brush after you drink red wine, you should definitely rinse that mouth of yours with water, almost like you would after the swill and spit routine of wine tasting.
There is one difference, though, because while wine tasting has you swish still water in your mouth, rolling it over the surface of your teeth and tongue to rid yourself of the flavour and return to neutral, rinsing with water to prevent red wine teeth is better when you use sparkling water.
You may not realise it, but the bubbles in sparkling water can help wash your enamel squeaky clean. The trick here is to sip on sparkling water in between glasses of red, helping to prevent the chances of staining as you make your way through that bottle with friends.
If you don’t have any sparkling water, consider guzzling a glass of water. While it doesn’t quite offer the same effectiveness as say a glass of sparkling, it both helps to detach red wine teeth stains and keep you hydrated, lessening the chances that you’ll wake up with anything unwanted the following morning.
For more advice, be sure to book in with your local National Dental Care dentist to find out what shape your teeth are in, and if there’s anything else you can be doing to keep those ivories looking as white as can be.