Nothing goes with a holiday dinner like red wine. It’s a drink that pairs uniquely well with both savory entrees and spending time with relatives. However, this drink can also pose significant hazards to your oral health, namely in its ability to stain your teeth. If you want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine with your holiday dinner, here’s how you can do that without discoloring your smile.
Why Does Red Wine Stain Teeth?
There are quite a few beverages that can stain your teeth, but few are as good at it as red wine. Of course, the dark pigments in the wine are the primary culprit; they can set into the pores on your teeth, altering their color. However, two other factors also contribute to red wine’s ability to leave stains behind.
The first is that it contains alcohol. Alcohol can lead to dehydration which, in addition to giving you a hangover, can dry out your mouth. This hinders saliva production, meaning you have less moisture in your mouth to wash away the harmful pigments.
The second is that wine is acidic. Its acidity allows red wine to erode a little bit of your enamel, exposing even more pores for the pigment to settle into.
A combination of all of these factors—the dark color, the alcohol, and the acidity—make red wine uniquely likely to stain your teeth.
How Do I Prevent Red Wine Stains?
Of course, the easiest way to prevent red wine stains is to cut back on drinking it. That said, there are other preventive measures you can take to keep your smile shining this holiday season:
- Brush After Drinking: The longer the wine sits on your teeth, the more time that the stains will have to set.
- Brush Before Drinking: Red wine sticks to plaque deposits, so if you make sure your mouth is clean before you drink, that can also prevent stains.
- Drink Water: Staying hydrated facilitates saliva production. Drinking water can also wash away some of the excess wine.
- Have Some Cheese: Certain ingredients in cheese act as a barrier that coats the teeth, protecting them from the pigments in the wine.
If you have a little too much to drink, you might also consider scheduling a professional cleaning or a whitening treatment in the new year. Keep these tips in mind, and you should be able to make it through the holidays with your pearly whites still shining.
About Our Practice
At Comal Dental, we pride ourselves on two things: high-quality dentistry and spa-like comfort. We have outfitted our office with both the latest in dental technology and amenities to put you at ease, including pillows and blankets in every room. Our experienced dental team will do whatever it takes to ensure that you feel at home for the duration of your stay.
If you have any questions about how to take care of your oral health over the holidays, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (830) 625-1515.