While some people’s teeth do stain after drinking red wine, you can prevent it during this holiday season. The answer has to do with the relationship between the nature of wine and your tooth enamel. When you drink red wine, you encounter a triple threat to your teeth’s whiteness: anthocyanins, which are the pigments in grapes that give red wine its rich color; tannins, which help bind the pigment to your teeth; and the acidity found in wine, which etches your enamel, making it more porous and it easier for the stain to stick. “The strength of your enamel and how prone you are to plaque build-up is key to how much your teeth might stain,” says Uchenna Akosa, a dentist and head of Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, the faculty practice of Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in New Brunswick, N.J.
Preventing Wine Teeth
- Brush before, but not immediately after, drinking
Plaque can make it look like your teeth are stained so you should brush your teeth 30 minutes before drinking, but not right after since toothpaste can cause more etching.
- Get regular dental cleanings to keep your enamel strong
Cleanings can help remove plaque, which is an acidic substance that damages your tooth enamel. If not cleaned, it can result in cavities.
- Drink water while drinking wine
Swishing your mouth with water, which is neither basic or acidic, after drinking wine helps to reduce the wine’s acidity and stimulates saliva flow, which is critical in fighting harmful bacteria and maintaining the ideal pH in your mouth. Chewing food is equally important because it also stimulates saliva. Cheese is ideal to pair with wine as it both stimulates saliva and reduces the acidity from the wine.
- Don’t drink white wine before red wine
The extra acid in the white wine will exacerbate the staining.
Wine Polyphenols Could Fend Off Bacteria That Cause Cavities And Gum Disease
Sipping wine may be good for your colon and heart because of the beverage's abundant and structurally diverse polyphenols, evidence shows. Researchers reported that wine polyphenols might also be good for your oral health. Some health benefits of polyphenols have been attributed to the fact that these compounds are antioxidants and likely protect the body from harm caused by free radicals. Recent work also indicated that polyphenols might also promote health by actively interacting with bacteria in the gut because plants and fruits produce polyphenols to ward off infection by harmful bacteria and other pathogens
The researchers - Adelaida Esteban-Fernández, Irene Zorraquín-Peña, Maria D. Ferrer, Alex Mira, Begoña Bartolomé, Dolores González de Llano, and M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas - wanted to know whether wine and grape polyphenols would also protect teeth and gums, and how this could work on a molecular level. They checked out the effect of two red wine polyphenols, as well as commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts, on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities and periodontal disease. Working with cells that model gum tissue, they found that the two wine polyphenols in isolation, known as caffeic and p-coumaric acids, were generally better than the total wine extracts at cutting back on the bacteria's ability to stick to the cells. When combined with the Streptococcus dentisani, which is believed to be an oral probiotic, the polyphenols were even better at fending off the pathogenic bacteria. The research - in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry - also showed that metabolites - formed when digestion of the polyphenols begins in the mouth - might be responsible for some of these effects.
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With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.