Whining about Wine
It’s that time of year again! The holidays bring parties and more time with family and friends. We may be indulging in wine a little bit more around the holidays. Whether you are an avid wine drinker, or just a glass or two at parties, chances are your teeth are paying the price. Red (and white) wine, just like coffee, grape juice, and tea, can stain your teeth!
Why does red wine stain my teeth more than coffee?
- Chromagens: Red wine contains a higher concentration of chromagens, pigment producing substances that bind to enamel and stain teeth.
- Acidity: Wine (and other alcoholic beverages): The acid in wine, soda, and alcoholic beverages actually dissolves (or “etches”) tooth enamel on a microscopic level. This makes the tooth more susceptible to accepting pigment and pick up whatever color of what you’re eating or drinking at the time. With time, enamel erosion can cause more of the dentin to show through, causing the appearance of yellow teeth.
- Tannins: Tannins are molecules that want to hold on to tooth structure and to chromagens, helping the two bind together and stain even further.
What can I do to prevent wine teeth?
- Eat some cheese – Cheese, proteins, or oils can help create a barrier on your teeth and can help prevent the pigments from staining your teeth. Broccoli, celery and other fibrous foods can help “scrub” away the stains from your teeth while you enjoy a glass of wine.
- Don’t brush right away! It can actually do more harm than good due to the high acid levels and susceptible enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes after consuming acidic foods and beverages before brushing. In that 30 minutes, try rinsing or chewing gum to help reduce the acidity in your mouth.
- Use a straw – Wine through a straw sounds funny, but it can reduce the amount of wine that comes in contact with your teeth!
This holiday season, remember to take a break and have fun. Enjoy your time with loved ones and indulge if you must! We believe that everything is okay in moderation.
Our office wishes you a very happy holiday season!