Red Wine Teeth Staining

Red wine teeth staining can be a nightmare for many people. For this reason, I am very excited to contribute to the red wine passion website and share my knowledge about red wine teeth staining prevention. Allow me to introduce myself.

I am Dr. Deborah Manos and I have been practicing dentistry for over 25 years. In addition, I am a red wine lover and am well aware of its staining qualities. Nothing is more important to my patients than white healthy teeth so let me share with you some important information to keep your smile bright.

One very important fact to know is that not all teeth stain equally. In fact, not all teeth stain the same color. I have many patients in my practice that drink red wine on a regular basis and yet get very little staining of their enamel. Some people have a glossier surface to their enamel and therefore a less porous surface. These individuals, if they develop staining at all, only need to brush their teeth and the enamel returns to normal color.

On the other hand, I also have a number of patients that have irregular rough scratchier surface to their enamel and their teeth stain with almost anything. For them, red wine teeth staining can be a nightmare. It is always better to try and avoid red wine teeth staining then to treat it afterward. Although teeth bleaching is a relatively safe procedure for healthy enamel not everybody is a good candidate.

 How To Prevent Wine Stained Teeth:

Unfortunately today many people eat and drink foods that are highly acidic and this can negatively affect the enamel surface. Dietary sources linked to acid erosion of enamel are:

Soda Drinks ( Pop )

Alcohol ( Wine )

Sour Acidic Foods ( Lemons etc..)

This picture demonstrates acid erosion of one of my patients who is a regular wine drinker and who also eats food heavily marinated in lemons. The yellow part of the right front tooth shows an area where all the enamel has eroded away. Please keep reading below to find out how you can prevent this from occurring.

This patient is obviously not a teeth bleaching candidate. With no enamel left to bleach it will be difficult to give this patient a bright smile. Teeth bleaching will cause intense tooth sensitivity and harm the rest of her tooth structure. At this stage, if the patient wants to whiten her yellow teeth she will need to have a dentist place composite bonding material to cover the eroded area, (which eventually stains more than enamel), or place porcelain veneers. These options are fine and is what keeps our profession alive and thriving but the key to healthy teeth is prevention.

 How To Avoid Red Wine Staining:

1) Keep your enamel clean and smooth - yes it's true that tooth surfaces that are clean and smooth and free of heavy plaque and tarter build up will stain less. In these individuals red wine teeth staining is not as common. Not only will seeing your dentist regularly be important for your oral and general health but it can also be vital to keeping your teeth their pearly white.

2) Drink plenty of water - keeping your mouth lubricated during red wine drinking is very important. Not only will it help to keep you hydrated which may help prevent those dreaded red wine headaches but also help to rinse away those heavy tannins in the wine that can causes red wine teeth staining. If you suffer from a dry mouth possibly due to medications you take or for whatever reason, it is especially important for you to look into salivary substitute or substances that reverse xerostomia or dry mouth. Substances such as Biotene and GC MI paste can help a great deal.

3) Enjoy your red wine tasting but "DO" drink it down - what I mean by this is that the more time the red wine is in contact with your teeth the greater the potential for staining. There is also a greater potential for acid erosion of your enamel.

Of course, if you are at a Napa Valley Wine Tasting you need to evaluate your red wine by looking, smelling and swirling the wine in your mouth but really how many times are we doing this in Napa Valley California. When enjoying your red wine try to keep the wine from contacting the front surfaces of your teeth as much as possible as this will ultimately cut down the red wine teeth staining.

I have a patient who loves red wine and actually drinks it with a straw to avoid tooth contact. Of course, I am not suggesting such an extreme thing but I do recommend swirling the wine in your mouth as little as possible to help avoid excessive red wine tooth contact and ultimately red wine teeth staining. Believe me, the wine will still be enjoyable and best of all, you won't be afraid to smile!

4) Avoid brushing your teeth for an hour after drinking wine - this will give time for your saliva to help remineralize your enamel to avoid increase wear that could be caused by tooth brushing. This is why drinking water is essential for healthy teeth if you drink red wine. Another option to clean your teeth, until the time when you can actually brush, would be to use a piece of gauze dipped in water to wipe your teeth.

I am not a big fan of the commercially available wipes that contain baking soda and salt mixture to wipe the tannins off the teeth. I believe this is still too abrasive of a product to use and therefore do not recommend them to my patients.

5) Keep your enamel at all costs - once your enamel is either chipped, decayed, fractured or worn away by acids or grinding your teeth, it's not coming back. With the average life expectancy increasing we need to do everything possible to keep what we've got.

If you are someone who enjoys the 3 common substances that can cause acid erosion, (soda pop, alcohol such as red wine and citrus food), than you could do yourself a big favor by looking into the benefits of a product called GC MI paste. This product has been shown to strengthen enamel and even reverse minor destruction of the enamel surfaces. Please check out the following site for more information on GC MI paste.

Of course only your dental professional can give you the right prescription to maintain healthy pearly white teeth. So, for your best results consult your dental professional before trying any products listed above.

To learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy and avoid red wine teeth staining please visit this informative website: Exciting Smiles

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