Drink a lot of red wine, and eventually your teeth are going to start to turn purple. The good news is that researchers recently uncovered that red wine protects our teeth against cavities, so now you have an excuse for that extra glass. The bad news, though, is that after more than one glass of red, our teeth can often take on a purplish hue, a dead giveaway to anyone looking that you’re a wine geek. So how do you prevent or get rid of that pesky wine stain while still doing your part to prevent cavities? Here are a few tips:

Brush Your Teeth Before You Drink, Not After

Sure we all know to brush after we eat, but when it comes to drinking wine, you should actually do the opposite. Brushing before you drink removes the plaque that builds up on the outside of your teeth, which if not taken care of can serve as an ideal location for the purple juice to stick. Just don’t brush immediately before drinking, or you’ll find you’ll have a similar experience to when you drink OJ in the morning right after brushing…blech.

The reason you don’t brush immediately after drinking wine, is because at that point, the acidity from the wine is still fresh in your mouth and on your teeth. Brushing at this point would cause you to strip away some of your teeth’s useful enamel. So wait a few minutes, drink a glass or two of water, and then brush.

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Drink Plenty Of Water

This not only helps keep you hydrated as your body works to flush out the booze you’re consuming, it’s also good for cleaning your teeth! Whether still or sparkling, swish some water around that mouth after every glass, and you’ll rinse the stains away.

Eat As Much Cheese As You Want

Another excuse to devour that wheel of brie or hunk of gouda: the proteins in cheese form a protective layer on your teeth. Think of them as your red wine shield. So not only does cheese make red wine taste more delicious, it also protects your teeth. Is there anything cheese can’t do?!

Don’t Forget To Eat Your Greens!

Roughage contains lots of fiber, and fiber acts as nature’s toothbrush, cleaning away the red wine as you drink. Because you also have to chew your veggies a ton before swallowing, you wind up creating a lot of saliva as well, great for helping to rinse away any residual wine.

Avoid Acidic Wines

It’s a bummer, but if you’re really concerned about wine stains, stay away from wines that are high in acidity. That means both red wines and white wines if you’re going to be drinking a red immediately after. As we mentioned above, acidity can strip away the protective enamel coating on your teeth, so the higher the wine’s acidity, the more likely you are to wind up with a purple smile.

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