Pros of wine: Delicious, gives you happy warm feelings, and convinces you that you’re the greatest singer and dancer that has ever walked the earth.
Cons: The embarrassing stains that it can leave on your teeth and lips, giving the impression you’ve just eaten a purple Texta.
We know that the effects of wine on your teeth aren’t exactly ideal when you’re trying to enjoy your night, but we aren’t here to tell you to ditch the vino altogether – that would be a quick way to lose half of our patients!
Instead, we’ve put together a list below of some of our best tricks to avoid the effects of wine on your teeth and reduce the stains on your smile.
Why does wine only stain some people’s teeth?
Before we explain how to prevent wine stains on teeth, it’s important to know why wine stains your teeth, and why it affects some people and not others.
Red wine stains your teeth because it’s acidic. This causes it to wear down your tooth enamel, which is the outer protective layer of the teeth and the strongest substance in the human body. When it gets eroded, the tooth surface becomes rough and more likely to have food and drink to stick to it. Red wine also contains anthocyanins (the red pigment that colours the wine) and tannins (a plant compound which helps the pigment attach to your teeth).
White wine contains acid and tannins, but not the red anthocyanins, so won’t directly stain your teeth. But, due to a higher level of acidity they will still wear down the enamel and make it easier for other foods and drinks to discolour your teeth instead.
If you’re wondering why you can share a bottle of wine with a friend and your teeth become stained while theirs remain pristine and white, it comes down to your individual enamel. The strength of your enamel and how much of it you have is determined by your age, genetics and also history of maintaining your dental health.
6 Ways to Prevent Wine Stains on Your Teeth
- The best oral hygiene routine
- Swish, swish
- Steady snacking
- Don’t mix drinks
- Wine stain prevention products
- Teeth whitening
1. The best oral hygiene routine
The first step to brighter, whiter teeth revolves around the timing of your oral health regime. Obviously, brushing your teeth and flossing is generally important to protect your enamel, but it’s time to get more specific. When you know you’re going to have a few drinks, brush your teeth and floss around 30 minutes to an hour beforehand. The reason? The pigment in wine clings to and stains the plaque on your teeth, so removing it with a toothbrush will reduce the opportunity for staining.
At the end of the night, it’s just as important not to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes AFTER drinking. This is because the acid in your wine softens the enamel and can cause damage when brushing as it’s more sensitive before it has the chance to strengthen itself again after about half an hour.
2. Swish, swish
Sipping on water between drinks will help loosen and remove the staining particles from the surface of your teeth, not to mention reducing the chances of your head hurting in the morning!
Water is neutral (not basic or acidic) and therefore assists in restoring the normal pH level in the mouth and fighting the bacteria which prefers an acidic environment. Rinsing with water increases saliva production as well, which also helps with the pH level and bacteria combat.
3. Steady snacking
Just as water can help stimulate saliva, so too can chewing food. Snacking on cheese with your wine is not only a winning flavour combo, but because it doesn’t contain staining pigments, it’s not acidic and it contains calcium, it’s also a fantastic food to protect the tooth enamel from damage and staining.
It’s also ideal to eat foods high in fibre, such as spinach, broccoli or potatoes to help increase saliva flow and wash away the stains.
4. Don’t mix drinks
When it comes to drink selection, one handy hack is to make sure you don’t drink white wine before you move onto red. Why? Due to the high acidity of white wine, your enamel erodes more rapidly, allowing the pigments in the red wine to stick much more easily.
Instead, try to stick to one type of alcohol – we know, it’s often easier said than done!
5. Wine stain prevention products
Clearly, wine stains are an issue that many of us face, which is why the vino gods seem to have answered our prayers by creating a few products to solve the problem.
Sipping your wine through a straw is one tactic to get the beverage to bypass the front of your teeth, but wine accessory brand Oenophilia have stepped it up a notch by creating these ‘Tall Wino Sippers’, which are wine glasses featuring a built-in straw to eradicate red wine teeth for good.
If you don’t want to sip from a strange-shaped glass, these wine wipes by Boyd and Co can be used to wipe your teeth clean mid-celebration when the stains have started to appear, while not interfering with the taste of your next drink.
If all else fails and your teeth have already become dull and discoloured from your past wine times and other food and drink such as tea or coffee, your best option is to consider professional teeth whitening at your dentist. In-chair teeth whitening can brighten your smile by up to 8 shades in a single 1-hour session. Another option is to purchase a custom-fitted at-home whitening kit made by your dentist to fit your mouth, so you can safely whiten your teeth over time to suit your schedule and before any events you may have approaching, such as your wedding.
When whitening though, it’s important not to drink wine or other staining substances afterwards as the teeth become more porous with an increased risk of staining.
Another trick is to wear a lipstick shade that makes your teeth look whiter.
How much does Gold Coast teeth whitening cost?
At Oasis Dental Studio, our ZOOM! In-chair teeth whitening starts from $595, and our custom take-home teeth whitening kits start from $195.*
- Broadbeach Dental Practice: 07 5526 8722
- Palm Beach Dental Practice: 07 5525 6610
- Chirn Park Dental Practice: 07 5627 1127
*Pricing is correct as at the date of publication and is subject to change without notice. Please note: The results of this treatment vary from patient to patient. Your own treatment may differ from that described here. Speak to your dentist for an explanation of what you can expect.