Quite a few people have an affinity for red wine. In fact, according to the latest statistics, 69 percent of wine drinkers prefer red over white with some of the most popular choices being pinot noir, zinfandel, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon. Rose, with its lighter hues, is also a highly sought-after option.
While red wine aficionados have their distinct preferences in terms of varieties, brands, vintages, and flavors, virtually all of them live with a common fear: stained teeth.
Keeping Your Smile Untainted
Oral care experts, like those at Magnolia Dental, realize just how popular red wines are and understand why so many people enjoy them. Of course, professionals are also aware of the toll wine and other beverages can have on the teeth. Wines are extremely acidic and have high sugar contents.
That’s essentially a double-edged sword when it comes to dental health. Beverages with excessive sugar and acid can weaken the enamel and lead to tooth decay and sensitivity over time.
Whether you’re worried about the long-term effects of wine on your teeth or simply concerned about a stained smile, read on to learn how to keep the potential problems at bay.
Brush Before Imbibing
We’ve all been there: treating ourselves to a blue raspberry slush or an orange soda only to discover after the fact that it left behind a telltale stain on our teeth. If only we’d brushed beforehand. A sticky film of white or yellowish plaque forms on the teeth throughout the day. It’s a combination of sugar and bacteria that naturally live in the mouth.
When that film is in place, it tends to hold onto food particles and solids in the beverages we consume. That’s where the notorious red wine stain comes from.
Brushing before consuming red wine will eliminate the film, so you won’t have to worry so much about stains. Try to avoid brushing after staining becomes an issue. Because of the sugars and acid in wine, it temporarily causes the enamel of the teeth to become more porous.
As such, it’ll be more vulnerable to damage from abrasive particles in the toothpaste. If you must brush after drinking red wine, be sure to wait at least half an hour or so.
Certain foods can help clear away the stains red wine leaves in its wake. Crunchy foods, cheese, salads, and potatoes are among the most helpful here. Virtually anything with ample fiber will help as well.
Those foods will simultaneously scrub your teeth a bit while causing your mouth to create extra saliva. That saliva will further wash away the stains and help protect your teeth from more permanent damage.
Of course, if your food of choice is green, such as spinach or kale, you might have an entirely different tooth-related issue to worry about after the fact. Be sure to check your reflection before flashing that beautiful smile at too many people.
Getting Rid of Those Stains the Safe and Healthy Way
Those are a couple of helpful tips for thwarting red wine stains on your teeth. Additionally, try to avoid drinking sugary or acidic beverages before consuming red wine because they’ll open up the pores of the enamel and make stains more likely to stick.
Consider supplementing your wine with sparkling water instead. You could even try wetting a napkin or handkerchief and gently rubbing your teeth with it to remove the red wine residue.
These measures will help keep embarrassing tooth stains at bay while preventing excess damage to your teeth’s vital enamel.