You’ve probably heard that red wine is good for your heart, but bad for your teeth. That it can stain your enamel and turn your bright white smile dull and dark. But before you switch from red to white wine, there’s something you need to know…
White wine is even worse for your teeth than red wine.
But we have good news for wine drinkers. You can keep your smile sparkling and healthy. A study in the journal Nutrition Research tested the effects of red and white wine on teeth. It found that all wines can erode your teeth’s natural enamel.1 But white wine is worse because it is very acidic. The acidity causes dental erosion by stripping away the minerals, like calcium, which makes tooth enamel more porous. It is called demineralization and can lead to tooth decay.2
Researchers found that white Riesling wine was the most acidic. And it’s not just wine. Fizzy, carbonated drinks and juices also erode enamel.
But don’t think a good brushing after a glass of wine will reverse the acid effect. In fact, brushing your teeth right after a glass of wine can actually cause MORE damage. You see, right after drinking a glass of wine your enamel is soft from the acid. If you brush soft enamel you risk exposing and damaging your tooth’s inner dentin and pulp.
Instead, rinse your mouth with water after drinking wine to dilute the acid. And wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. That gives your mouth time to produce more saliva to help neutralize the acid. Saliva also contains calcium and phosphate. The saliva helps your teeth remineralize and get harder.
Now, most dentists will tell you it’s impossible to rebuild worn or damaged teeth. But the truth is that just like other organs and systems in your body, your teeth can be healed and rebuilt through remineralization.
4 Vital Steps to Remineralize Your Teeth Naturally
- Eat a primal diet. Our modern industrial diet is high in refined sugars and acidic foods like grains and other carbs that eat away at your teeth. A study in the British Medical Journal found that children who ate fewer carbs and took vitamin D had very few new cavities. And many of their existing cavities healed themselves.3 You see, the pulp inside your teeth contains cells called odontoblasts. They can form new dentin to rebuild teeth if you have the right diet. Instead, follow the diet our primal ancestors did for bones and teeth of steel. Fats and protein won’t erode your teeth. Look for grass-fed beef, wild-caught coldwater fish and poultry and eggs from pastured animals. Choose healthy fats like olive oil, butter and coconut oil. And grass-fed dairy is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that harden tooth enamel. It’s also rich in tooth-building vitamins like D3 and K2.
- Try coconut oil pulling. Oil pulling (Kavala graham) is an ancient Ayurvedic detox practice that’s been used for over 3,000 years. It’s a simple process of swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth. The swishing pulls toxins out of teeth and tissues. And the oil leaves a film on the surface of the teeth and gums to help prevent plaque and bacteria from sticking.4 All you do is gently swish one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t swallow. Spit the used oil out into the trash or a jar — not the sink. It will clog your plumbing. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth as normal. Aim for doing this three or four times a week. Do it right after you get up in the morning and before you eat or drink anything. You should notice a difference in your teeth and gums in a week or so.
- Chew xylitol gum. I’m not a fan of chewing gum but xylitol is different. This natural sweetener has been shown to prevent cavities and reverse early stage tooth decay.5 Xylitol does not promote the growth of bacteria that feed decay. And it supports the growth of beneficial bacteria that fight decay. Look for natural chewing gums containing xylitol. Use once or twice a day after meals or wine.
- Make your own mineralizing toothpaste. Most toothpaste is sweetened and full of artificial additives. Instead, make your own toothpaste to build up your enamel. Here’s how:
- 8 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. xylitol
- 20 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1 Tsp. calcium powder
- 1 Tsp. magnesium powder
Mix all ingredients into a paste and brush as usual.
To Your Good Health
1. Willershausen B., Callaway A., Azrak B., et al. “Prolonged in vitro exposure to white wines enhances the erosive damage on human permanent teeth compared with red wines.” Nutrition Research. August 2009.
2. Briner WW., Gray JA., Francis M. “Significance of Enamel Remineralization.” J Dent Res. 1974 Mar-Apr.
3. Mellanby M., Pattison CL. “Remarks on THE INFLUENCE OF A CEREAL-FREE DIET RICH IN VITAMIN D AND CALCIUM ON DENTAL CARIES IN CHILDREN.” Br Med J. 1932 Mar 19.
4. Asokan S., Emmadi P., Chamundeswari R. “Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.” Indian J Dent Res. 2009.
5. Mäkinen KK., et al. “Thirty-nine-month xylitol chewing-gum programme in initially 8-year-old school children: a feasibility study focusing on mutans streptococci and lactobacilli.” Int Dent J. 2008.