Preventative Care: Wine and your teeth

Preventative Care: Wine and your teeth

Posted on May 03, 2015

Did you know? The acidity of wine is comparable to most soft drinks as both have pH values of 3 and 4. Because of their high concentration of organic acids, this acidity is reported as being the main cause of the increase in tooth wear around the globe.

New research from the University of Adelaide suggests wine lovers may harm their teeth if they don’t take preventative care measures against erosion.

An article published in the latest edition of the Australian Dental Journal states demineralisation occurs as early as 10 minutes after enamel has been exposed to the organic acids of the beverage.

In other words, according to researchers, if you’re in the wine tasting business, you need to be proactive and aware of the increased risk of tooth wear.

Consider this: Professional tasters usually test up to 150 wines per day with wine judges notching up even more samples. A typical wine tasting sees wine being retained in the mouth for up to 60 seconds before eventually being spat out.

Interestingly, researchers advise those in this line of work to chew gum and skip toothbrushing the morning prior to wine tasting. Doing so should lessen the impact to their teeth.

After a wine tasting session, as teeth are likely to be much softer, it’s recommended that people rinse their mouth out with water and dab toothpaste on their finger to clean their teeth.

Additionally, researchers also recommend that professionals take preventative care measures, including using remineralisation agents such as calcium, phosphate and fluoride. This helps to minimise the risks of erosion.

As for the rest of us, the majority of people who drink wine for the love of it tend to be concerned with preventing teeth staining.

We’ve put together some handy tips to help:

  • Eat cheese to help build up the calcium in your teeth – We’ve blogged about this one before.
  • Drink tap water – Saliva acts like a bodyguard against purple stains and is vital in ensuring your mouth doesn’t dry out. So before posing for any photos, be sure to whip out that glass of water and take a good gulp to rinse away any stains.
  • Don’t mix white and red wine – By drinking acidic white wine first and then switching to red, this can increase the likelihood of the erosion of tooth enamel while stripping away the protective coating of your teeth.
  • We’ll be honest about this last one: This suggestion is a little out there – Have a read about the red wine glasses that may prevent purple teeth.

You can have your wine and drink it too but for the sake of your pearly whites, take a little extra care and you’ll be thankful in the longer term.