Who doesn’t love a nice glass of wine every now and then? Not all wines are created equally when it comes to tooth staining. According to a study published in a 2009 Nutrition Research study, different types of wine may have a more negative impact on your teeth than others.
Staining – Red or White Wine?
Drinking wine stains your teeth. The “Nutrition Research” study found that although red wine does stain teeth, research shows white wine may actually be worse for staining. White wine contains acids and tannins that may make tooth enamel more porous, causing teeth to absorb colour from foods and drinks more easily.
In short – red may be better than white when it comes to dental staining. The only time I would recommend to refrain from red wine is while your whitening your teeth – all that red colour can seep into your teeth.
Enamel erosion – Red or White Wine?
Under normal (non-erosion circumstances) the pH in your mouth should be between 6.2 to 7. Dental erosion starts when that level falls below 5.7. Most wines have a pH of 2.9-3.5! This means a swig of red or white wine can plummet your pH and erode enamel. Once gone, our enamel isn’t coming back 😦
The “Nutrition Research” study tested the effects of multiple red and white wines on teeth. The study found that wine eroded the enamel of teeth, and white wine had a worse impact than red wine. Wine is highly acidic, and the acid dissolves enamel off its minerals such as calcium and phosphate. Fizzy, carbonated wines, such as riesling, was found to be the most acidic of the wines tested in the study and most erosive to enamel.
So… the winner is red wine when it comes to dental erosion.
Next time you enjoy a glass
Your best bet is to sip water between sips of wine, not necessary on a 1:1 ratio, but intermittently. This will neutralise the acidity in your mouth (Yay!)
As for brushing your teeth, do it—but just like swimming, wait an hour after you’ve had a glass of wine before you brush your teeth. Not that you’ll get a stitch but you shouldn’t just go straight from Cabernet to Colgate. Your enamel may have been softened and your bristles and/or drunken brushing technique won’t do it any favours.
At the end of the day, erosion seems to be a fact of life – or a life lived, anyway. If you want to keep drinking wine, that’s fine. Just keep drinking water and brushing regularly, as well as getting calcium and maybe avoiding brushing your teeth immediately after drinking.