Have you ever been to the bathroom to check your makeup after a few glasses of wine, smiled into the mirror and realized in horror that your teeth have turned a peculiar shade of purple? Having red wine stained teeth can make you feel very self conscious.
Not everyone will experience the same amount of staining. How porous your teeth are, or in other words, how strong the enamel on your teeth is, will determine how badly red wine will stain. That is because chemicals in the red wine, called tannins, get absorbed into the surface of this enamel.
How to Clean Red Wine Stained Teeth?
Of course you can stop drinking red wine altogether, but that’s no fun! Why not try these things to reduce the severity of the staining?
1. Brush Your Teeth
Having plaque-free teeth is the best way to avoid a red wine stained smile. Make an appointment with your dentist right away! Regular checkups and professional cleaning, along with proper dental care at home will keep your teeth clear of stains from any drinks or food.
If you have room in your purse, take a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste with you. You can give your teeth a quick brush before you head out to the bar or restaurant if you can’t get home first.
If you want to brush your teeth after drinking red wine, leave it for at least a few minutes. Brushing too soon after drinking red wine will strip away some of the enamel because the wine’s acid will still be in your mouth and on your teeth, .
2. Alternate with Sparkling Water
This is a great one, not only to help combat red wine stained teeth, but also to stay hydrated and slow down your alcohol consumption.
After each glass of red wine, drink a glass of sparkling water or seltzer. The effervescence (bubbles) in the water will help to lift the stain.
You can swish around the water in your mouth, but do this in the bathroom or you may get some very strange looks!
3. Use Teeth and Mouth Cleaning Wipes
Using teeth wipes is a really discreet and convenient way to remove stains from your teeth. If brushing your teeth in a public restroom is not possible or not something you want to do, then a quick once-over with a tooth wipe is ideal.
These wipes are made with textured material that gently removes wine, coffee and food stains from your teeth. Often flavored with fresh mint, you can even use them on your lips and tongue for a full mouth clean.
A few individually-packed mouth cleaning wipes can easily fit in your purse or pocket. Your friends will love you if you have a couple to share, too!
4. Eat Cheese
Cheese and wine is a match made in heaven. Luckily eating cheese can help reduce red wine stained teeth.
Cheese contains proteins that form a protective layer on the surface of your teeth making it harder for stains to penetrate.
Cheese is also high in calcium, which is an important mineral for strong bones and teeth. Harder cheeses like cheddar or parmesan tend to have a higher calcium content over soft cheeses like brie or camembert.
5. Choose a Light-Colored Red Wine
The rule of thumb is the darker the wine, the worse the staining. This is because of the higher levels of tannins in dark red wine.
There are some beautiful lighter red wine varieties such as Pinot Noir or Burgundy. These contain fewer tannins than heavier reds like Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Also try to avoid drinking any wine that is high in acidity. You may think that drinking white wine first and then going on to red will help, but it actually makes it worse. The high acidity in white wine will erode your tooth enamel and then the staining from the next glass of red will be much more pronounced.
What are your tried and tested tricks to keeping your pearly whites white?