If kicking back after a long day with a glass of wine is your idea of the perfect evening, you’re not alone. In fact, in 2016, Americans drank up to 945 million gallons of wine. But if you’re also concerned with keeping your oral health in tip-top shape — including your tooth enamel — you’ve probably heard some rumblings about red wine not being so great for teeth and wondered if you’re doing yourself a disservice.
So what’s the deal? If we’re trying to keep our teeth healthy and white, does that mean we have to give up our favorite adult beverage? Read on for the answers!
Does Red Wine Harm Tooth Enamel?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), some of the most erosive (low PH) drinks for teeth are sodas, sports drinks, and citric fruit juices. Because wine is essentially a drink made from fruit, it’s also considered erosive, but because it’s not typically consumed with the same frequency as, say, Diet Coke, it’s rarely included in “erosive drinks” lists.
The ADA also considers red wine to be a “highly pigmented” beverage, which means that it’s likely to stain teeth.
If this all sounds less than great, don’t worry! Like most things in life, moderation is the key.
Proper Oral Care After Drinking Red Wine
Occasionally enjoying a glass or two of wine should not permanently harm your enamel, as long as you follow proper oral health techniques afterward. After consuming acidic drinks, the ADA recommends rinsing your mouth with water (eating cheese also works, as calcium-rich foods can help balance acids). Once you’ve rinsed, the ADA says to wait about an hour before brushing your teeth to give your saliva a chance to naturally neutralize as much acid as possible.
And if you want to go the extra mile to protect your enamel, try Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair toothpaste. Pronamel Intensive Repair is proven to drive minerals deep into enamel surfaces, helping to actively repair acid-weakened enamel and protect it from the future effects of acid erosion.
At the end of the day, when it comes to red wine and tooth enamel, it’s really all about your personal priorities. If you’re actively trying to protect your enamel from stains and erosion, you may want to consider avoiding wine for the time being. If, on the other hand, that occasional glass of red is too good to pass up, just remember the ADA’s advice — your teeth will thank you!