Many people enjoy a glass of red wine or two on occasion, whether you have a glass of this beverage nightly with dinner or socially at cocktail parties. Red wine may taste delicious but it can be murder on your pearly whites. Staining remains a top concern for those who drink lots of dark wines, just like frequent coffee drinkers may experience. However, there are some benefits to this beverage that you may never have thought of.
Red Wine to Prevent Cavities?
A recent study profiled by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that red wine can suppress the growth of bacteria that can lead to caries—more commonly known as cavities. However, the American Dental Association says you would have to swish red wine in your mouth every day for several minutes over a period of a week to gain those benefits, pursuant to the parameters of the study in question. A better way to prevent cavities, the ADA says, is to use an antiseptic mouth rinse, brush twice a day, floss every day, maintain a healthy diet by limiting sugary snacks and go to the dentist every six months.
Staining is perhaps the greatest complaint when it comes to the pairing of red wine and white teeth. If you’re not willing to give up your wine-drinking days just yet, check out these tips from Fox News. In between glasses of red, swirl some seltzer or white wine in your mouth to reduce staining. Brush your teeth before eating a meal, as red wine tends to stick to plaque buildup. Apply petroleum-based lip-gloss before drinking, as this can add a barrier between your teeth and the wine. Indulge in some hard cheese. Why? Some cheeses coat the teeth with calcium so you don’t have to worry as much about discoloration. Refrain from brushing your teeth after drinking, as the acidity in the wine leaves the enamel of your teeth vulnerable to abrasive attacks.
It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but your red wine habit can lead to the rotting of your teeth over time. Wine can erode the enamel of your teeth, as it’s very acidic in nature and can lead to decreased mineral levels, according to Livestrong. Actually, white wine was found to have even more teeth-rotting effects, due to the high acidity in wines like Riesling.
What You Can Do
In addition to limiting your consumption of red wine, especially if you have porous teeth that stain easily, you can take some actions to reduce your chances of staining overall. Refrain from drinking sodas and eating too many acidic foods such as lemons, as these can wear away the enamel of your teeth as well as cause staining. Keep up with proper dental hygiene, which is great not just for staining but also for avoiding cavities, gingivitis, and plaque. You can use over-the-counter teeth whitening kits for light staining, but if you have a pretty severe red or purple tinge to your teeth, you’re best off having this done professionally at the dentist. Not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening, though, so be sure to consult with your dentist.
Ban red wine stains from your teeth by employing the above tips. You don’t have to give up red wine to look good!