It’s a clear fact that the stains that wine leaves on your teeth aren’t ideal when you’re trying to enjoy your night. However, we are not going to tell you to ditch the vino altogether. On the contrary, we’ve listed the bellowing tricks to avoid the effects of wine on your teeth and reduce the stains on your smile.
Why does wine stain teeth?
Before preventing wine stains on teeth, it’s necessary to know why wine stains your teeth, and why it affects some people and not others.
Red wine stains your teeth because it’s acidic. This causes it to wear down your tooth enamel, which is the outer protective layer of the teeth and the strongest substance in the human body. When it gets eroded, the tooth surface becomes rough and more likely to have food and drink to stick to it. Red wine also contains anthocyanins (the red pigment that colors the wine) and tannins (a plant compound that helps the pigment attach to your teeth).
White wine contains acid and tannins, but not the red anthocyanins, so it won’t directly stain your teeth. But, due to a higher level of acidity, they will still wear down the enamel and make it easier for other foods and drinks to discolor your teeth instead.
If you’re wondering why you can share a bottle of wine with a friend and your teeth become stained while theirs remain pristine and white, it comes down to your enamel. The strength of your enamel and how much of it you have is determined by your age, genetics and also the history of maintaining your dental health.
How to Prevent Wine Stains on Your Teeth
- The best oral hygiene routine
The first step to brighter, whiter teeth revolves around the timing of your oral health regime. Obviously, brushing your teeth and flossing is generally important to protect your enamel, but it’s time to get more specific. When you know you’re going to have a few drinks, brush your teeth and floss around 30 minutes to an hour beforehand. Why is that? The pigment in wine clings to and stains the plaque on your teeth, so removing it with a toothbrush will reduce the opportunity for staining.
At the end of the night, it’s just as important not to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes AFTER drinking. This is because the acid in your wine softens the enamel and can cause damage when brushing as it’s more sensitive before it has the chance to strengthen itself again after about half an hour.
- Swish, swish
Sipping on water between drinks will help loosen and remove the staining particles from the surface of your teeth, not to mention reducing hungover in the next morning!
Water is neutral (not basic or acidic) and therefore assists in restoring the normal pH level in the mouth and fighting the bacteria which prefers an acidic environment. Rinsing with water increases saliva production as well, which also helps with the pH level and bacteria combat.
- Steady snacking
Just as water can help stimulate saliva, so too can chew food. Snacking on cheese with your wine is not only a winning flavor combo, but also because it doesn’t contain staining pigments, it’s not acidic and it contains calcium, it’s also a fantastic food to protect the tooth enamel from damage and staining.
It’s also ideal to eat foods high in fibre, such as spinach, broccoli or potatoes to help increase saliva flow and wash away the stains.
- Don’t mix drinks
When it comes to drinking selection, one handy hack is to make sure you don’t drink white wine before you move on to red. Why? Due to the high acidity of white wine, your enamel erodes more rapidly, allowing the pigments in the red wine to stick much more easily.
Instead, try to stick to one type of alcohol – we know, it’s often easier said than done!
- Teeth whitening
If all else fails and your teeth have already become dull and discolored from your past wine times and other food and drink such as tea or coffee, your best option is to consider professional teeth whitening products. There are hundreds of teeth whitening products in our store you can try on, such as teeth whitening pens, strips and home whiten suits. If you don’t know what to start with, you can contact us for suggestions.