Rutgers dentist offers primer on avoiding "wine teeth"

2019 11 14 19 00 2954 Man Brushing Teeth 400

A dentist who heads the faculty practice of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is offering tips on how to avoid "wine teeth" -- that is, staining caused by red wine -- this holiday season.

Staining occurs because of the interaction between wine and tooth enamel, according to Dr. Uchenna Akosa, head of the Rutgers Health University Dental Associates in New Brunswick, NJ. Pigments called anthocyanins from the grapes, tannins, and acidity all contribute to the problem, according to Akosa.

Akosa offered four tips for reducing enamel staining:

  • Brush before drinking to remove plaque that can hold stain.
  • Don't drink white wine before red, since the acid in the white wine can exacerbate staining.
  • Drink water while drinking wine.
  • Brush teeth correctly and get regular dental cleanings.

"The strength of your enamel and how prone you are to plaque build-up is key to how much your teeth might stain," Akosa said in a statement released by the university.

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