Drinking white wine worse for your teeth than red

by Lucy Halfhead

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Enjoying a glass of white wine on a frequent basis can damage your teeth due to high acidity levels which erode enamel far more than red wine, experts say.

Grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio can wear away protective enamel more quickly than red grapes such as Merlot and Claret, making teeth more sensitive to hot and cold and the rough spots caused by acid in the wine can also leave teeth more vulnerable to stains from food, tea and coffee.

The key is the wine's pH and duration of contact with the teeth. Riesling wines tended to have the greatest impact as they have the lowest pH.

However, eating cheese at the same time could counter the effects say scientists at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. This is because it is rich in calcium and it is the calcium in teeth that the wine attacks.

Brushing your teeth after a night of drinking may not help as over the years repeated exposure could take its toll. Indeed, excessive brushing might make matters worse and lead to further loss of enamel.

Professor Damien Walmsley, of the British Dental Association, said: ‘The ability of acidic foods and drinks to erode tooth enamel is well understood, but it's the way you consume it that's all important. If you're going to have a glass of wine do so with your meal and leave a break of at least 30 minutes afterwards before you brush your teeth and go to bed.

‘Consuming wine alongside food, rather than on its own, means the saliva you produce as you chew helps to neutralise its acidity and limits its erosive potential.'

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