The Unexpected Drink That May Help Build Protection For Your Teeth

We brush, we floss, and we schedule our bi-annual teeth cleanings with the dentist all in the name of our oral health. Even so, the everyday wear and tear on our teeth can progressively weaken our tooth enamel. In time, this can lead to tooth pain, temperature sensitivity, and even trouble chewing, according to Hagerman Dental Care. Some of the foods and drinks we consume on the daily are better for our teeth than others, and contrary to popular belief, red wine may be one of them. Now that calls for a toast.

To be clear, dental experts have cautioned about the effects that red wine can have on our teeth. As an acidic beverage, red wine can soften tooth enamel and leave us more susceptible to staining, explains the Cirocco Dental Center. Not only that, but the chromogens and tannins found in red wine further enable staining. You've probably witnessed this firsthand if you've ever taken a sip of merlot only to find yourself donning a crimson smile afterward. To prevent this, Cirocco Dental Center recommends drinking through a straw and rinsing out your mouth when you are finished.

Red wine may help prevent bacteria from sticking to our teeth

As it turns out, red wine may not be all bad when it comes to the health of our teeth and gums. Researchers from a 2018 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry set out to understand how red wine polyphenols and certain red wine extracts could potentially support our oral health. Using an in vitro model, researchers examined how red wine extracts and two red wine polyphenols, caffeic and p-coumaric acids, fared against harmful bacteria (per Healthline).

"We tested concentrations in the range normally found in wine," researcher M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas told Healthline. The results showed that the polyphenols helped hinder bacteria from sticking to the model cells, representing those found on our teeth. The polyphenols were found to be even more effective against bacteria when paired with an oral probiotic.

While additional research is still needed, the study findings show promise in regard to red wine's potential to reduce the adhesive qualities of plaque-causing bacteria in our mouths. As long as we are careful to drink in moderation and rinse with water after we are finished, this might help protect us from cavities and tooth decay (via Cirocco Dental Center). Cheers to that!