Wine - what does the dentist say?

I feel like the fun police sometimes.

"Brush your teeth so you don't get cavities."

"Now you're brushing too hard, you'll ruin your gums."

So when a friend asked me about what a glass of wine does to your teeth, I launched into a full explanation with outcomes ranging from mild stains from red wine, through to the dreaded oral cancer for the excessive alcohol drinker. I watched as my friend's face turned from one of amusement to horror. Not an uncommon expression with my profession, but i figure let's just keep this simple and focus on one undesirable outcome. 

Wine is acidic. The pH ranges from 3-3.5 (stomach acid is 2.0). Champagne/Sparkling wine is particularly acidic as the bubbles actually increase the acidity. There's no escaping it unfortunately. So it's fair to say that wine is very acidic indeed. It softens the enamel surface of your tooth and even strips the tiniest micro layer of enamel with each glass you drink. Once gone, the enamel doesn't grow back. 

So what can you do? Not drink wine?! (pfft!). 

The simplest thing you can do is sip water every now and then between sips of wine. This will help re-balance your pH somewhat (and will also re-set your palate ready to experience the bouquet of blackberries, pomegranate and woody notes that apparently abound in each delectable swig). 

It is also recommended to wait at least 30 minutes following wine before brushing. Whilst in this post-wine state, enamel is softer and vulnerable to abrasion, even from a toothbrush!

Acid wear is a fact of life, so just be sensible. If you have any lingering doubts or concerns the friendly Northbridge Dentists team are here to help.