Red wine is a popular drink to have with dinner, at parties, and on special occasions. Unfortunately, red wine can also be damaging to your teeth. Teeth can turn a soft purple color after you drink red wine. Over time, this type of drink can cause your teeth to become more brown, blue, dingy gray, or purple.
This discoloration happens because red wine contains acids, tannin, and natural dyes, all of which can leave the teeth etched and stained. Fortunately, you can do several things to care for your teeth and prevent stains from occurring.
Brush Teeth Before Drinking
Food particles that cling to teeth can be absorbent. When you drink red wine, these food particles can take on the color of the wine, making your teeth look like they’ve turned purple.
Brushing your teeth before drinking red wine can help prevent this problem. Take care to brush the hard to reach areas in the lowest teeth. Flossing can also help by removing food particles stuck between the teeth.
If you drink red wine while at restaurants or while out with friends, keep a toothbrush in your handbag, purse, or glove compartment. This will help ensure that you have a toothbrush when you need it.
Use a Straw
Drinking red wine from a straw helps the wine bypass the teeth and go straight for the tongue. Red wine isn’t a beverage that is commonly consumed with a straw, so if you feel a little silly using one, consider switching to red-wine based sangria. This beverage is commonly consumed through a straw.
Eat Crunchy Foods While Drinking
Carrots and other crunchy vegetables help clean the teeth while you chew. Eating carrots while drinking red wine can help keep the teeth clean and stain-free. If you frequently drink red wine at home, keep carrots on hand.
If you’re going to be drinking at a friend’s house, bring a vegetable platter with you. This will help ensure that you’ll have some crunchy vegetables to eat when you get there while also giving you something nice to bring to your friend.
You already knew that cheese and red wine tasted great together, but you may not know that cheese can protect your teeth from stains. Cheese covers the teeth with a waxy coating that fills the pores and prevents stains. Hard cheese also helps protect the teeth by wiping the enamel clean.
Chew Sugarless Gum
If you don’t have a toothbrush on hand when you’re having red wine, sugarless gum is almost as effective. Chew sugarless gum to keep your teeth clean and free of food before drinking red wine.
Drink Water With Your Wine
Sparkling water can help wash wine down and prevent your teeth from becoming stained. To do this effectively, take a drink of wine and then a drink of sparkling water. Swish the water around in your mouth before swallowing.
Use Teeth Wipes
Teeth wipes are cloths that can help wipe away food and red wine stains while you’re consuming red wine. Teeth wipes come in a convenient package that can be transported in a bag or stuck in the glove compartment. Keep them on hand for moments when you’re thinking about having a glass of red wine.
Be Cautious With Tooth Whitening Products
There are many tooth-whitening products on the market. Some of these products are minimally effective, while others damage teeth by stripping away the enamel, leaving teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to stains. If you’re thinking about using a tooth-whitening product on your teeth, run it past your dentist first to ensure that it’s safe for your teeth.
Know What Not to Do
People can do a variety of things to help keep their teeth white while drinking red wine. Some of these methods work, others don’t.
Don’t Switch To White
Some people believe that switching to white wine can help protect their teeth from stains and discolorations. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. While white wine won’t stain your teeth purple like red wine, its high acidity can still contribute to tooth staining. White wine can increase the number of holes and pores in your teeth by eating away at the enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to stains.
Don’t Suck on Limes, Lemons, or Use Baking Soda
Many people believe that they can prevent red wine from staining their teeth by sucking on a lime or by brushing their teeth with lemon juice and baking soda. Limes and lemons both have a high acid content that can damage teeth in the same way that white wine can damage teeth. In addition, baking soda is abrasive and can scratch away tooth enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable.
To prevent damage to your teeth, run your methods past your dentist. He or she can help you decide which techniques will work best for you.
See the Dentist Regularly
Seeing the dentist regularly can help protect your teeth from stains. Your dentist can clean your teeth and whiten the enamel safely to prevent your teeth from staining. If you regularly drink red wine, see your dentist at least twice per year to remove stains.
Contact Your Dentist With Questions
If you have questions about how to protect your teeth from red wine stains, contact your dentist today. At Silverado Family Dental, we answer questions about red wine stains and other tooth problems.