Having wine-stained teeth is a common yet embarrassing dinner party faux-pa and it can be easily avoiding if you take the right precautions. But how do you avoid being THAT person at the dinner party with stained teeth?
Most people believe that if they drink white wines, they are immune from the staining that occurs with red wines.. However, they are wrong! White wines are actually just as acidic as red wines. Though white wines lack the pigmentation that red wines do that stick to teeth, the high acidity of white wines actually erodes tooth enamel and etch small channels into the tooth surface, which creates a surface for pigmentation to stick to. Therefore, if you drink white wine before another dark beverage, such as tea, teeth will still stain. With that being said, the rumors that if you drink white wine before red, your teeth will remain unstained.. Is very false! So, take caution with what you drink after white wine!
Red wines are the real problem when it comes to teeth stainage at parties and dinners. Red wines too etch small crevices into teeth, which is the root of the staining. Red wine also has tannis in it, which are responsible for the taste and color of wine, or in other words the stain makers. However, there are a few things that you can do to keep this from happening.
When drinking red wine, pair it with a glass of sparkling water, or drink a glass of sparkling water in between glasses of wine. The carbonation acts as little sponges and lightly scrubs away the pigmentation from the red wine that leaves behind. Also, it is a good idea to eat higher fiber foods while drinking red wine, such as a spinach salad or quinoa. The fiber scrubs away the pigmentation that could settle as a stain, before it can do so. Cheese is also another good food to pair with drinking red wine. Not only is it a delicious match, but the calcium in the cheese can help rebuild the calcium in your teeth. The calcium can also fill in the etches that the wine creates.
The easiest way to avoid having a red or purple smile is to brush your teeth before a dinner that you know red wine will be present. Brushing your teeth and flossing before dinner will help clear the plaque build up on the tooth surface, which may keep the red pigmentation from the wine at bay. Keep in mind that you should brush your teeth at least 30 minutes before the party, if you brush any sooner, the taste of the wine may react with the taste of your toothpaste and leave you with an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Brushing your teeth right after drinking wine is also unwise, the enamel on your teeth will erode and your teeth will be more open to staining in the future, which is what we are all trying to avoid. Chewing gum can also help unstick staining agents from your teeth.
Of course, above all, drinking responsibly is a huge number one priority, but keeping your teeth from being stained purple should be considered a close second. In order to not be ashamed of your smile at a dinner party, follow the few tips above. If you have any other questions about keeping your teeth white, or wish to schedule a dental appointment/cleaning, contact Lakeway Center for Cosmetic Family Dentistry today!