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Many adults love to indulge in a glass of red wine with dinner, at parties, and in a social setting. While red wine contains many health benefits, it can also, unfortunately, be damaging to your smile. Teeth can quickly turn a soft purple color after drinking red wine, and overtime, this can cause your teeth to permanently discolor because of the acids, tannin, and natural dyes in red wine.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to care for your teeth while sipping on a glass of your favorite red, and these seven tricks are sure to help!
Brush Your Teeth Before, Not After
Glancing into a mirror and seeing a wine-stained smile looking back at you may make you want to reach for a toothbrush immediately, but this can lead to more harm than good. Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking red wine or other dark-colored beverages can damage your tooth enamel. The high acidity of wine makes your teeth ultra-susceptible to sensitivity and abrasion. Wine clings to and stains the plaque on your teeth, so rather than brushing afterward, brush your teeth before you drink. Grabbing your toothbrush before a glass of wine will decrease the chances of a wine-stained smile.
Drink Sparkling Water Between Glasses
Enjoying a glass of sparkling water between glasses of wine will not only ensure that you stay hydrated while consuming alcohol, but it will also help to prevent your teeth from becoming stained. Swish sparkling water around in your mouth to allow for the bubbles and carbonation to loosen food debris and plaque while scrubbing away surface stains.
Use a Straw
Drinking red wine from a straw may seem silly, but a straw will help the wine bypass the teeth and go straight to the tongue. Red wine isn’t commonly consumed through a straw, so if this doesn’t seem like a viable option for you in a public setting, try using a straw while you’re at home.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after enjoying a glass of red wine can be an effective solution for avoiding red wine stains. Sugarless gum that contains Xylitol can be even more of a benefit to your smile by promoting saliva production and wiping away left-behind food and debris. Just like brushing, chewing gum is most effectively done before drinking red wine rather than after.
Eat Food As You’re Drinking
Carrots, celery, and other crunchy vegetables can help to clean the teeth while you chew. Eating food while drinking red wine can also help to keep the teeth clean and stain-free. Doing these two things hand-in-hand will help to lessen the risk of developing teeth stains while drinking.
Pair Wine With Cheese
Cheese and wine pair great together from a taste buds standpoint, but did you know that cheese can help to protect your teeth from stains too? Cheese coats the teeth with a waxy covering that fills in pores in the surface of the teeth to protect from stains. Hard cheese also helps to protect the teeth by wiping the enamel clean after every bite.
Keep Wine Teeth Wipes In Your Purse
Teeth wipes are convenient and discreet. The to-go packaging can easily fit into a purse or small handbag, making them ideal for dating scenarios or special occasions. While effective, these wipes can be a bit abrasive, so use them with caution. If you find yourself in a pinch, a cocktail napkin can also have positive effects on wiping a smile clean.
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
There are many excellent tooth-whitening products on the market to keep your smile bright and stain-free. While some of these products are effective, others can lead to tooth damage by stripping away the enamel and leaving the teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to stains. Always discuss the addition of whitening products with your dentist first to ensure you are using the right type of product for your smile.
Seeing the dentist regularly can help protect your teeth from stains, especially if you regularly drink red wine. For more information on how to best protect your smile from red wine stains and other types of tooth discoloration, contact Aubrey Baudean DDS.