Many wine drinkers choose to drink white wine believing that white wine is better for their teeth. Not so. White wine has a higher level of acidity than red wine so it is actually more damaging. A wine's acidity is the leading suspect in damage to enamel. Composed mainly of a basic salt called hydroxyapatite, enamel begins to dissolve when acidity lowers the pH in your mouth below a critical point, somewhere between 5 and 5.7. Meanwhile, wine's malic, tartaric, lactic, succinic and citric acids usually contribute to a pH of between 2.9 and 3.5.
Some red wine drinkers give their teeth a good brushing after drinking to get rid of any staining. We'll never tell you to not brush your teeth, but we will encourage waiting an hour after your last glass of wine. All wines soften the enamel, a brisk brush after may actually damage your teeth so wait then brush and floss.
Champagne and sparkling wines are often served at summer weddings and parties; surprisingly, champagne may be elegant, but it's the toughest on your teeth. The acid combined with the carbon dioxide makes this celebratory drink a real threat to your enamel.
Now we don't want to ruin your summer fun, so here are a few suggestions to keep your teeth happy while you still have a glass or two of your favourite Chardonnay, Cab or Prosecco.
Keep your teeth clean. Teeth that experience regular brushing, flossing and cleanings have less buildup on them; less "stuff" for the stains to cling to.
Don't swish and swirl when wine tasting. Wine tasters, who swirl and swish before spitting or swallowing, are at greater risk for dental damage. The longer you keep wine in your mouth, and the more aggressively you rinse it around your teeth, the greater your exposure to acid.
Add ice to your wine. Gasp! We know this might offend your inner sommelier, but diluting your wine even slightly lowers the acidity.
Sneak off to the restroom occasionally and rinse your mouth with a travel-size mouthwash. Feel that's too much? Then just discreetly rinse with water.
Never go to bed with wine-coated teeth.
Alternate, a glass of wine with a glass of water. Not only will this keep you hydrated, but, it will keep you from getting too tipsy. We said you'd reach for the Evian!
Last of all, enjoy your summer, but, please, never drink and drive. We want you to stay safe!