We all love a glass of red wine, but what does it do to our teeth and how can we prevent stains?
Red wine contains strong pigments that are instant stain-makers for porous surfaces like your teeth. These pigments, called chromogens, give red wine that deep, intense hue, and can leave their mark on your teeth after just a few sips. Tooth enamel isn't perfectly smooth as it has small cracks and irregularities that these chromogens like to settle in, causing stains and discolouration to your teeth.
If you're like us, and not willing to give up a glass (or two) of red wine on a Friday night then we've got some tips that will reduce the staining effects of red wine.
#1 Brush before, not after
Your first instinct after looking at your purple-toothed smile in the mirror may be to immediately reach for your toothbrush - don't do this. Our experts have found that brushing your teeth right after drinking wine can damage your tooth enamel since the high acidity of wine makes your teeth super sensitive to abrasion. Instead, brush your teeth an hour or so before. Why? Wine clings to and stains the plaque in your teeth, so brushing it away before you drink will decrease your chances of a wine-stained smile.
#2 Sparkling water
Drinking sparkling water between glasses of wine will not only ensure that you don't get carried out of the restaurant at the end of your meal but will also keep wine stains at bay. Swish it around in your mouth and allow the bubbles to loosen up and scrub away the stains
Wine and cheese go together like bread and butter. Eating cheese will cause calcium to build upon your teeth, as well as close the tiny micro-pores on the surface of your tooth enamel, this in turn makes it way more difficult for those pesky chromogens in wine to stain your teeth.
#4 Avoid white wine before
We've all been there - starting with white wine to “take things slow”, and the next thing we know, we’re guzzling back Pinot Noir like there’s no tomorrow. Avoid this at all costs. The acidity of white wine erodes your enamel and basically acts as a primer, making the tannins and chromogens in red wine “stick” to your teeth more.
#5 The lime trick
We’ll start this off with a warning: use this in case of emergency only. The high acidity of citrus fruits like limes can wear down your tooth enamel over time, so only employ this if you're absolutely desperate. If your teeth are grape-tinged and you suddenly remember that you have to give a toast to the bride in front of hundreds of people, make a quick trip to the bar and ask the bartender for a lime slice. Rub it gently against your teeth and lips, and watch the stains disappear like magic. Remember though, only use this in case of an emergency.