Do you ever end the day with a delicious and robust glass of wine? Don’t be ashamed if you do, wine has some fantastic health benefits if consumed within reason. Did you know that each year, National Wine Day is on May 25th? Before enjoying your next glass of wine, get informed on what causes wine-stained teeth, how to remove wine stains from your teeth, and how to prevent wine-stained teeth in the future.
Wine-stained teeth causes
If you or someone close to you likes to drink wine, you’ve probably seen first-hand how wine can stain your entire mouth. As we age, tooth enamel tends to darken for a variety of reasons. Wine contributes to that process. Tooth enamel is a hard calcified tissue covering the dentin in the crown of the tooth. This thin outer layer of the tooth is the first to see discoloration.
So, what causes wine to stain teeth? Wine is highly acidic. Like sports drinks, energy drinks, and colas, wine can be particularly detrimental to the teeth. The acid in wine can soften the outer layer of our tooth. Softened enamel is more susceptible to foods that stain, especially when eaten with or after wine.
Preventing wine-stained teeth
Although it’s difficult to prevent wine stains on your teeth, there are alternatives. No, you don’t have to give up drinking wine altogether. The most effective way to protect our enamel is to brush and floss appropriately and visit the dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings and exams. When we visit the dentist, they can remove harmful plaque and tartar buildup. Over time if we ignore our regular dental visits, plaque can permanently stain your teeth.
Here are more recommendations for keeping your teeth white in addition to brushing and flossing:
- Professional whitening
- Rinsing with Mouthwash
So what to do if your teeth are already stained by wine?
Remove existing wine stains from teeth
Prevent these stains by maintaining good oral health, drinking in moderation, and using a few tricks:
- It may seem like the best idea to brush your teeth immediately after drink wine but, experts recommend you brush before drinking. This minimizes the amount of plaque that wine can stick to in the first place. Also, wait until at least 30 minutes after drinking wine to brush again.
- After drinking wine, your mouth is an acidic environment, so it’s best to wait until the acidity diminishes so you don’t brush acid onto your enamel.
- Rinse with water. Swishing with water helps stimulate saliva flow, which is critical in fighting off harmful bacteria and maintaining ideal pH levels in the mouth.
Are there any oral health benefits to wine?
Wine can benefit your mouth in a handful of ways. One study found that antioxidants in red-wine prevented plaque-causing bacteria from sticking to gum tissue. Another study from the same journal found that wine might help prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. These two studies show that although wine might stain your teeth, it can also be beneficial when consumed within reason.
For National Wine Day (and throughout the rest of the year), remember these tips to prevent wine stains and keep your teeth healthy and happy!
For more tips on keeping your pearly whites healthy, check out: