Why Does Red Wine Stain My Teeth, and How Can I Prevent It?

Posted October 26, 2018 in

So you’re drinking a glass of red wine. All your other friends grabbed a dainty little flute of champagne or a chilled glass of sweet white wine, but not you. No, you went for that earthy, full, smooth glass of red.

This says a lot about you – you possibly have a healthier heart, you’re wise, and the red wine emoji is always in your recently used list. Maybe you’ve chosen our dry, oak-barrel-aged Merlot Reserve. Maybe you’ve gone for a nice, hefty pour of our Pinot Noir. Or maybe your go-to is a red blend like our MishMash Red. Whatever the case, you’re a committed red wine lover.

But hold on – you catch a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror as you smile at a joke cracked by a giggly rosé fanatic sitting nearby, and you see it. Your teeth. They’ve taken on a new shade of purple.

We’re here for you, red wine drinkers. We’ll look at what caused your pearly whites to turn purple, and give you a game plan for avoiding flashing a marvelously mauve smile.

Why Does Red Wine Stain My Teeth, and How Can I Prevent It?

Cause #1: Even though you drank your milk as a child, your teeth are actually quite porous and have tiny cracks and irregularities, giving the pigments in that delicious glass of red plenty of enamel entry points to stain.

Solution #1: Don’t let those stains stay and hang out. Swish a glass of water around your mouth after each glass of red. This will help wash away those pigments and keep you hydrated. After all, nobody wants a purple-mouthed hangover tomorrow.

Cause #2: Not all reds are created equal. You may notice your smile stains more easily after a drink of Cabernet Sauvignon than after a Malbec. This is because of multiple variables in the winemaking process –temperature, growing season, type of yeast – that increase the pigmentation in the wine.

Solution #2: If your holiday business party outfit clashes with a maroon smile, maybe skip the Cab Sauv and opt for something with a little less pigment.

Cause #3: This one is for the science nerds of the world. The pH of your saliva and the protein on your tongue interact with the pigmentation in the wine, causing – you guessed it – a purple smile.

Solution #3: Eat. You heard us: Charcuterie isn’t just for feeling fancy. Going whole hog on some fats, salts, and oils, along with staying hydrated, can actually prevent staining. We basically just gave you an excuse to pig out. You’re welcome.

You may be thinking, “Is all of this worth it? I could be converted to the white side, if I must.” Well, friend, the smile is not exactly whiter on the other side. White wine can yellow your smile over time, weaseling its way into those same cracks in your enamel.

So just stick to your pick and live it up. Life is too short not to drink the wine you love most. Looking for a new favorite? Stop in our tasting room, or order a few bottles of our Michigan wine online!

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