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How to Avoid “Wine Teeth” at Your Holiday Parties

Do you ever get the feeling someone is staring at your teeth while you are talking?  Was it the spanakopita appetizer?  Nope.  You are spinach-free.  They are staring at that distinctly purple hue we like to call “wine teeth”.

There are a few important factors in this embarrassing staining that cause it to affect different people in different ways.  Not everyone has the same staining from drinking red wine.

Contributing Factors

Exploring these contributing factors will help you understand why your teeth may stain more than someone else’s teeth do.  It will also give you some clues as to how to prevent the telltale burgundy tinge to your pearly whites.

  1. Plaque Buildup

Plaque is the soft buildup that accumulates on your teeth between brushings.  It consists of food particles, bacteria and sloughed-off tissue cells from the inner lining of your mouth.  Because it is soft, you can easily remove it by brushing and flossing your teeth.

Plaque is not glossy smooth.  It is rough and bumpy, which allows it to attract and pick up stains very easily.  Plaque will stain quickly from red wine.

Because some people have more plaque buildup on their teeth than others do, this puts them at a higher risk for wine teeth!

  1. Enamel Texture

Not all enamel is alike.  Some people have enamel that is shiny and glassy smooth, while others have a microscopically ridged or textured surface to their enamel.  The smoother your enamel, the easier it is to resist staining.  Rough, bumpy enamel leaves more nooks and crannies for the stain to collect.

Some enamel just has a naturally rougher texture.  However, in many cases, enamel is rough because of damage sustained over time.  One of the biggest enemies of enamel is acid.  We can cause erosion of enamel, leaving a rougher surface, when we consistently drink acidic beverages or suffer from untreated acid reflux and GERD.

So the reason your teeth are more purple than your friends’ teeth when drinking the same red wine might be that their enamel is smoother. . . or they might have glazed porcelain veneers, which resist stain like a piece of glass does!

  1. Type of Wine

Not all red wine is alike, either.  Some wines are more acidic and contain more tannins.  These will cause more staining.  It is safe to say that the darker the wine looks, the more likely it is to stain your teeth.

To choose a less-likely-to-stain red wine, ask for one with a lighter body or less tannins.  Obviously, you could also stick to white wine or champagne.  The problem with these is that they are actually more acidic than most reds.  They can etch (damage) the enamel as much as red wine.  They just do not have the dark stain to go with them.

How to Stop “Wine Teeth”

There are a few things you can do to stop the wine teeth phenomenon in its tracks, and our experienced cosmetic dentists are here to help.  Follow these steps to keep your smile bright throughout your longest holiday parties.

More Questions about How to Avoid “Wine Teeth”?

Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ann and Dr. Lauren.  They can answer all of your questions about “wine teeth” and anything else teeth-wise.