Food for Thought: How to avoid ‘wine teeth’


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you drink red wine, the purple pigments in red wine can stain your teeth. A few simple steps can help you avoid “wine teeth” or “Merlot mouth.”

The acid in wine erodes the tooth enamel so teeth become more porous and the pigment can stain. The tannins in the wine help the pigments latch on.

To avoid staining, brush before drinking red wine, not right after. Brushing before gets rid of the film so the wine can’t stick to your teeth as well. Don’t brush for at least 30 minutes after drinking wine. Brushing after can cause temporary etching in tooth enamel that has been softened by the wine’s acidity. This could boost the ability of the stain to soak in. Instead, rinse your mouth with water after drinking wine to help remove the staining particles.

So, brush before and rinse after. Also, eating while you drink also helps stop staining by acting as a barrier to the acids and by promoting saliva flow.

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