Some Unexpected Advice for Maintaining a Healthy White Smile After Drinking Red Wine

Photo by Robert Daly/OJO Images / Getty Images

While there is nothing quite like the pleasure of indulging in an inky red wine with great structure and mature fruit, too often the smile of satisfaction that ensues takes on a purple hue.

This may seem like the perfect time to sneak off to the bathroom for a quick brush, but dental professionals recommend you to hold off! The acidity in wine weakens the enamel on your teeth, making them extra-sensitive to the scratchy strokes of a toothbrush. To protect your teeth, wipe the stains away with a damp piece of gauze and wait at least an hour before brushing so that your saliva has time to rebalance the pH in your mouth.

Here are a few more tips for indulging in the great red wines of the world while maintaining a healthy white smile.

1. Brush and rinse well before you drink. Wine sticks to the plaque on your teeth.

2. Drink plenty of water between sips, preferably with bubbles, to rinse away stains.

3. Nibble on hard cheese. Cheese helps increase saliva production, which balances your mouth’s pH. It also adheres to enamel, protecting your teeth from acid’s corrosive effects.

4. Brush and floss and before going to bed. 

There is, of course, always a silver lining. The polyphenols in red wine actually block the ability of the bacteria that causes tooth-decay to stick to your teeth. For optimal enjoyment and oral health: take a bite of cheese, drink red wine, hydrate, drink again and repeat. When the meal or party is finished, wait an hour before you brush your teeth so that the pH in your mouth has time to rebalance and you won’t damage your enamel.