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Is drinking wine bad for your teeth?

So… Is drinking wine bad for your teeth?

We have all been there and seen it at some type of social event. The maroon darkened smile after a glass of rich Shiraz glaring at you during an in depth conversation in the wee hours of the night. If you are like most you are only hoping that you don’t look the same way. Chances are you are in the same boat if you are drinking the same thing, but different types of dental work show it more than others. As a respected dental practice, the big question our patients want to know is,” is drinking wine BAD for your teeth?”

The reality is that there are almost no consumables that are good for our teeth, for each and every bite, chew and sip ages’ our teeth as we move through life. However, some things we consume accelerate tooth damage more than others. Along with sugary drinks, wine is on the suspect list.

So, now we know that this is in fact an accelerant let’s get into the details of this illusive suspect. Like, are white or red wine equally bad?, what teeth are the most susceptible, and how to mitigate the effects.

First off… It’s white vs red in the ring, which one is more damaging in terms of staining. According to a test done at the New York University College of Dentistry, they found that the acids in white wine created rough patches on the enamel which became less resilient to stains after the fact. BUT as common sense would suggest, the red wine was still worse due to a highly pigmented substance in red wine called chromogen. The verdict is that both are not good, but red is worse than white. But one thing to note is that the two together are the worst. Especially in the sequence of white wine first. The more acidic white wine is like a primer for the more staining pigments of the red wine.

Next is the type of teeth that are most susceptible to “purple mouth”. Generally teeth that have been continually whitened by home use white strips are the most susceptible for a couple of reasons. One, the strips break down the hydrodynamic polish of teeth and leave a more porous finish that take on stains more easily. Secondly the brightness of whitened teeth provide more contrast for the red wine to be noticed, the whiter the canvas, the brighter the colour.

Heard enough? Now you want to know how to enjoy yourself and keep your pearly whites in shape for the entertainment seasons. Well, you’ll be glad to hear that there is some simple things you can do and others you will love to do. Here are some tips:

• Get your teeth zoom whitened and skip the white strips – Relief ACP which gives enamel its luster and protects the enamel.

• Brush before the wine – Red wine likes to stick on plaque, so try to get rid of the plaque first and you will more likely have a better night of photos.

• Don’t drink the white before the red – Say no to priming for damage!

• Drink both Sparkling and flat water – Try to swish water in between your glasses of wine to get rid of the stained saliva that is sitting on your teeth and promote your mouth to replace it with new clean stuff. If you are shocked by your image of purple mouth in the mirror and are hiding from being in any sort of picture, drink some sparkling water. The carbonation in the bubbles helps scrub and lift away the staining saliva quickly.

• Say yes to the wine and cheese party! – The calcium in cheese is good for your teeth from an inside-to-out nutrition point of view, but the harder cheeses are especially good for adding a deflective layer on the teeth that act as a waxy guard to repel liquids and their stains.

• Wait to brush after drinking your favourite varietals – We recommend that you wait at least 30 minutes after drinking before brushing. The best is to have water after wine and the wait to brush. If you brush too soon you will remove more than the acids on the teeth.

We assume that your interest in this article is married with some common ground and you like to enjoy your wine like so many of us do. If this beloved pastime has created extra tooth sensitivity and/or a want to have a professionally brighter smile we would like to cheers over a cup of fluoride rinse and get you into great dental shape and health. Book your appointment by web or phone here