Wine is a drink that many of us enjoy over the festive period. However, it is known to have the unfortunate effect of staining teeth over time. But why is this? Now, a dentist has explained the reasons behind this connection. Moreover, they have provided some preventive measures you can take, to ensure you enjoy the Christmas period!

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Over the festive period, we all typically like to indulge in various treats. For many, drinking wine is a great way to unwind and relax over the holidays.

While it is important to enjoy yourself, it is important to be careful when it comes to looking after your oral health over Christmas.

One thing to be aware of is the possibility of “wine teeth” – a common side effect of red wine. But what causes wine teeth, and how can you get around this issue?

Now, a dentist has reviewed this situation and provided an explanation for the above questions. This information can be useful for anyone concerned about wine teeth!

What causes “wine teeth”?

Uchenna Akosa is a dentist who leads Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, which is part of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine [1].

As a dentist, Akosa has strong knowledge of wine teeth – which may be better known as stained teeth. Moreover, she has seen this problem first-hand with many of her patients.

So what is it about red wine? Akosa explains by saying that when consuming red wine, you risk a “triple threat” to teeth whiteness [1]. Furthermore, this triple threat is anthocyanins, acidity, and tannins [1].

Akosa explains that anthocyanins are the pigments in grapes that give red wine its rich color. Acidity refers to the acid found in wine – which ends up eroding our enamel. Sadly, this makes it easier for any stain to stick. Finally, tannins help to bind the pigment to teeth [1].

As alluded to above, this combination is a bad concoction for teeth. However, some people experience stained teeth easier than others. Akosa explains that this depends on “how prone you are to plaque build-up”, as well as the “strength of your enamel” [1]. Therefore, those with weak enamel and more prone to plaque build-up would typically experience a higher chance of having stained teeth.

Akosa also spoke of other food and drink that could damage your teeth. For example, Akosa said that “anything that can stain a shirt can stain your teeth,” which includes “black coffee, berries, balsamic vinegar, chocolate, sweets and smoking” [1].

Furthermore, Akosa also pointed out that soda and juices also harm the enamel – which makes teeth “more susceptible to stains” [1]. This underlines the number of threats to our teeth.

Preventing wine teeth

So how can we avoid stained teeth? There are a few different ideas that Akosa has put forward. Therefore, these ideas can limit the damage done by red wine:

• Akosa suggests that we should brush our teeth approximately 30 minutes before drinking [1]. This will allow time for fluoride to settle and prepare your teeth for wine. It is advisable to not brush your teeth right after wine consumption, as this risks spreading the acidity.

• Akosa also recommends not drinking white and red wine on the same day, as white wine has other acid in it – which can actually worsen the staining [1].

• One tip which is useful for any acidic drink is to rinse your mouth with water after drinking, as this will stimulate saliva flow and maintain an ideal pH level in your mouth [1].

• Akosa has recommended eating cheese, or another chewy food, alongside wine, as it can stimulate saliva production and lowers the acidity levels from wine [1].

• Another suggestion is to attend regular dental appointments, brushing your teeth properly (including all of the surfaces of your teeth), flossing before bed, and having regular dental cleanings [1].


Overall, it is important to enjoy the Christmas holidays. Make sure you relax and treat yourself. But remember to do so responsibly!

Stained teeth is an unfortunate effect of wine consumption. However, if you follow the above steps, it will help to protect your teeth, and maximize the chances of your teeth remaining white!

Thinking points…

[1] Dr. Akosa mentioned the importance of attending regular dental check-ups. This is a great way of ensuring that your oral health is strong. If treatment is needed, a dentist will be able to make suggestions and keep your teeth in excellent condition. We recommend booking an appointment now!

[2] Stained teeth are unfortunately common, and can be very difficult to reverse without professional help. It often affects confidence and self-esteem. However, here at Taradale Dental, we offer both in-office whitening and take-home whitening kits. We would love to have a discussion with you about teeth whitening, and help you with any queries you may have. You can see more about us at our website!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a Calgary dental clinic that provide its patients with a wide range of dental treatment options and advice aimed at improving their oral health.

We advise our patients to attend our Calgary dental clinic at least twice per year for a regular dental check-up. At these check-ups, we provide a comprehensive review of a patient’s oral health. If any problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For example, these include cavity fillings and root canals. To strengthen your oral health, we recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly.

Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, teeth whitening and Invisalign™! Our patients find that these treatments have a positive impact on their appearance, confidence and self-esteem.

Moreover, the fees of our treatments at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are set in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. This ensures transparent and fair pricing, with no hidden costs.

We hope to see you soon at our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website


[1] Foster, R. (2023). Avoiding ‘wine teeth’ at those holiday parties. Available: Last accessed: 16th December 2023.