Having purple teeth is getting caught red-handed with wine. The verdict is quite straightforward – you have been drinking wine! Our teeth are made of porous enamel that is prone to absorbing the most pigmented of foods. In addition to wine, coffee, tea, berries, vinegar, pasta sauce, and even curry, can spotlight unwanted attention on your teeth. Wine stains because it contains a mixture of natural dyes, acids, and tannins. The culprits work in tandem – first, the acids break down the teeth’s enamel and leave it vulnerable to further attack; then, together the dyes and tannins engulf the mouth in a relentless sticky coat of discoloration. The resolution is not intuitive.
Do not brush! Brushing with conventional toothpaste messes with our taste buds and ruins our ability to perceive wine. When studying for exams, for example, sommeliers wait a number of hours before their first sip of wine, or they do not brush at all. Brushing after drinking wine can unhelpful as well. Brushing right after drinking wine can embed a stain and even cause damage to your teeth.
Alternatively, one could try brushing with natural toothpaste. Toothpaste, such as JĀSÖN, which does not contain sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates could work. Still, one should exercise caution, provide oneself with ample time before/after drinking wine. Another healthy but long-term option is to fortify your teeth by eating more Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C in your diet. The stronger the enamel, the less likely your teeth will be affected by the acids in wine. Discoloration will be a thing of the past.
There is a lot of information out there on remedies for removing wine stains on teeth and some of it can be misleading. Below, we review the most common remedies and set the record straight. Let’s start with the bad ideas:
1. Use a Straw
Pucker up and slurp it down – no. Wine is not a “Big Gulp” from 7-Eleven. It is very important to approach a wine appropriately, by smelling the aromas and allowing your nose to get very close to the wine. It is impossible to taste through a straw. Some bloggers suggest this can be a conversation-starter, but not one I am willing to have!
2. Use a Lime
The additional acids of a lime can remove a stain. Sure, but it can also remove more than a stain and potentially be damaging. Wine already has a lot of acid -- no need to add more. Forget this remedy because it is not worth your pearly whites or a juicy lime.
3. Don’t Drink White Before Red
White wine usually has more acidity than red wine. The acidity in white wine wears down the teeth's enamel before a heavy coating of tannins and pigment, if red wine were to follow. Absence from white wine is a useful harm reducation technique, but it would require skipping out on delicious white wine! There must be another way to avoid this tannin teeth disaster.
And now for the more reasonable suggestions:
1. Drink Sparkling Water
After sips of wine, follow with a refreshing gulp of sparkling water. The bubbles will bounce off some of that purple gunk. Sparkling water in not a cure-all, but it will keep you hydrated and prevent wine stained teeth, inconspicuously.
2. Use Wine Wipes
That’s right, wipes specifically designed to remove wine stains from your teeth. This product has only a few active ingredients and could be useful depending on the scenario. If you want to have a glass before a date, but don’t want the date to know, well here you go: https://winewipes.com/product-category/wine-wipes/.
3. Eat Food
This is obviously my favorite option. Eat more cheeses, cured meats, olives, or anything with high fiber. Essentially, food wears down stains until they are no more. I’ll take any excuse to eat more food. Chew your worries away!
Sooner or later, you will find a way to remove those stubborn purple stains. Besides the interventionist approach, you may want to consider the non-interventionist approach: to “own it." Wear your purple teeth proudly!