We love red wine. What we don’t love? Wine-stained teeth. Sometimes one glass is all it takes to unleash that dreaded purple smile (yes, the one you’ll cringe at when you see that fateful Instagram snap). But not anymore. We consulted an expert to find out what we can do to maintain our pearly whites without cutting back on our favorite reds. Use these tricks below to avoid staining your teeth on your next night out on the town (hint: switching to white wine isn't the best idea).
Brush your teeth before you go out. This will ensure there is no plaque or tartar on your teeth, which Dr. Alokh Persha, DMD at MALO Smiles, tell us are magnets for red wine. “Red wine clings to the film of plaque, thus worsening the stain,” he says.
Sip water in between glasses. Aside from helping you stay hydrated (and avoid a hangover), water can prevent wine from lingering on your smile.
Eat while you drink. Consider this one an excuse to indulge. The pro suggests pairing your wine with high fiber foods (like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and potatoes) to mechanically brush away stains. Hard cheeses, he says, will also do the trick.
Skip the white wine. While red wine might stain your teeth, white is actually more damaging. “Wine contains tannins that bind to the surface of teeth and acid which reduces the mineral content of teeth leading to erosion of the enamel," Persha says. "Different wines are acidic to different degrees and white wine generally causes more tooth erosion than red wine.”
Keep wine wipes in your purse. If you find yourself falling victim to wine mouth often, a Wine Wipes Compact ($8; winewipes.com) might be a good investment. Swipe them on your teeth to instantly erase embarrassing purple tinges.