Do you love unwinding with a glass of red wine but find that it’s leaving your teeth looking less than their best? If so, you’re in good company! Red wine can be tough on tooth enamel and leave stains behind. However, with some smart lifestyle choices and dental care tips, you can keep enjoying your favorite vino sip after sip without sacrificing the look of your smile. Read on to learn easy ways to protect your pearly whites from dark-hued drinks like red wine.
Rinse with Water
A simple way to prevent red wine stains is to rinse your mouth with water after drinking it. Doing this will help wash away the dark pigments in the wine before they have a chance to settle into your enamel and leave long-term discoloration. Even if you don’t have access to water, swishing around some saliva in your mouth can still help reduce staining.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing sugarless gum after drinking red wine can also help reduce staining by stimulating saliva production. Saliva washes away the pigment molecules from the surface of your teeth, essentially washing away any evidence that you ever had a glass of red! Chewing sugary gums won’t do much good because it will cause more plaque buildup on your teeth which can further contribute to discoloration.
Drink through a Straw
Using a straw when drinking is another excellent way to protect your pearly whites from getting stained by red wine. Drinking through a straw allows the beverage to bypass the front surfaces of your teeth and flow directly down the back of your throat instead, significantly reducing the risk of staining. If you don’t have access to straws, try sipping slowly and avoid letting any liquid linger on or around the front surfaces of your teeth for too long—this will minimize contact between the pigments in the wine and your tooth enamel.
Cheese & Crackers, Please
Try pairing your red wine with cheese and crackers if you’re having a night out with friends at a bar or restaurant. Eating these snacks creates saliva production that helps wash away any residue from the wine, keeping it from settling into the surfaces of your teeth and causing staining.
It is possible to enjoy a nice glass (or two) of red without worrying about stains on our teeth. By following these simple steps—brushing before drinking, drinking plenty of water throughout the evening, and accompanying your vino with cheese and crackers—you can reduce the potential for tooth discoloration caused by red wine consumption.