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Protecting Your Teeth from Red Wine Stains During the Holidays

November 30, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgoodman @ 2:06 pm
Close-up of filling a glass with red wine

During the holiday season, you may find yourself going to a lot of parties where red wine is served. But as tempting as it is to simply enjoy the drinks without a second thought, it’s important to remember that they could easily lead to stained teeth if you’re not careful. If you want to maintain a bright, beautiful smile, you should be aware of how red wine can discolor your enamel – and what steps your dentist recommends taking to avoid the issue.

Why Does Red Wine Stain Teeth?

Red wine has several attributes that make it particularly prone to staining teeth. For one thing, it contains colored pigments known as anthocyanins. Said pigments can become bound to your teeth thanks to the tannins that are also found in the beverage, resulting in discolored spots. And since red wine is acidic, it can open the pores of your teeth, making it easier for the stains to stick.

What Can You Do to Avoid Red Wine Stains?

Obviously, one way to prevent red wine from staining your teeth is to simply not drink it. You may consider switching over to white wine, which does not contain red anthocyanins and thus won’t directly cause discoloration.

If you would still like to enjoy a glass of red wine, here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk for dental stains:

  • Clean Your Teeth Thoroughly: Plaque can make it easier for stains to adhere to your enamel. As such, before drinking red wine, you should make sure your teeth are as clean as possible by brushing and flossing thoroughly. As a side benefit, this will also reduce your chances of developing cavities or gum disease.
  • Rinse with Water: Sipping water can help rinse away any wine that’s still lingering in your mouth. (It’s generally a good idea to drink water after enjoying any sort of alcoholic beverage in order to avoid dehydration.)
  • Eat Something While You’re Drinking: Certain foods can encourage your mouth to produce more saliva, which helps protect the teeth from the acids in red wine. Examples of foods you might enjoy with your beverage include hard cheese, broccoli, and celery.
  • Invest in Whitening Toothpaste: Some types of toothpaste are designed to help remove stains from the teeth. If you expect to be drinking more red wine than usual, now might be a good time to pick up some whitening toothpaste at the store.

By following the tips above and practicing excellent oral hygiene, you can enjoy the red wine served around the holidays without having to worry about your teeth becoming discolored afterward. Of course, you can always talk to your dentist if you would like additional advice for preventing dental stains.

About the Author

Dr. A. Gary Goodman earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. He has been helping Annapolis patients enjoy healthier, more beautiful smiles since 1981. He’s proud to offer a wide variety of dental services, including teeth whitening for brightening discolored teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Goodman at Goodman Dental Care, visit his website or call (410) 263-1919.

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