Many of us love wine, and we enjoy popping the cork on a nice vintage occasionally. The problem is, drinking wine can take a toll on your teeth over time. Many adults aren't even aware of how quickly their teeth can be damaged by drinking wine.
Although dentists often advise against drinking dark-colored beverages like red wine, you don't have to completely give up drinking it. Let's have a look at how wine can affect your dental health and how to mitigate its damaging effects.
Red Wine and Staining
Let's begin by talking specifically about the staining ability of red wine. This popular drink is right up there with coffee and tea at the top of the list of things that can stain teeth. Wine actually contains three components that can stain your teeth: its tannins, acids and the dyes found in grapes.
Even if you are having your teeth whitened regularly to keep your smile bright, the effects of your efforts can be reversed by drinking red wine. The bleaches used in teeth whitening opens enamel pores. It's like rolling out the red carpet for teeth discoloration. So limit your intake of red wine, particularly if you have recently undergone a whitening treatment.
Wine stained teeth can also result from components found in wine called tannins. Plaque found on teeth is sticky, making it like velcro for tannins. Red wines contain more tannins than white varieties, so be particularly careful when drinking them.
Is wine bad for your teeth?
Although wine can stain your teeth, there are worse things that you can drink and eat that affect the health of your teeth. On a general health basis, consuming red wine in moderation is believed to be good for cardiovascular health, largely due to its antioxidant content.
When it comes to the health of the teeth, wine tends to be acidic and can cause the erosion of tooth enamel. And the alcohol found in wine can have a drying effect.
4 Wine Lover Tips for Keeping a Healthy Mouth
- Brush your teeth regularly, including immediately after drinking wine.
- Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking wine to reduce acidity.
- Chewing sugar-free gum helps in stimulating saliva flow to clean your mouth and balance pH.
- Wipe your teeth with a cloth. Special wine wipes are available to help prevent staining.
Hopefully, we haven't frightened you away from wine. As mentioned earlier, wine, particularly red wine, does have some science behind it to support its overall health benefits. Just remember to drink it in moderation and follow the tips that we provided to keep your teeth and smile healthy and bright!
Thanks for your support!
- Dr. Houlik