Why Does Red Wine Stain Teeth? Three Major Influences

wine glasses

Are you wondering why teeth become discolored over time? More specifically why does red wine stain teeth?

Natural Tooth Color

You may be surprised (or relieved) to know that the natural color of teeth is not always white. If your teeth are closer to an egg shell color than shiny white, it may have nothing at all to do with the foods or beverages you consume. Teeth come in a variety of colors.

Teeth can be:

  • cream colored
  • white
  • off-white
  • egg shell
  • beige
  • and more!

Some people are born with bright white teeth. Others are born with teeth that are a shade or two darker. Off-white and cream colored shades are not uncommon.

Regardless of the color of your teeth at birth, a lifetime of red wine, berries, coffee or tea or other substances that stain teeth will surely leave their marks.


The most dramatic teeth stains come from red wine. A blueish-gray or purplish coating over teeth is a clue that red wine has passed your lips more than once. Even coffee and grape juice leave less evidence than red wine, although both stain teeth.

Why is it that red wine stains so deeply? There are a couple reasons. The rich color in red wine, called chromogen, is highly intense. But that’s not the only reason wines stains teeth.

Another reason red wine is an enemy to pearly whites is that red wine is highly acidic. It microscopically etches teeth, making the tooth’s surface, which is normally smooth, more likely to accept pigment. Stains adhere to the surface.

This is why you should never brush teeth immediately before drinking red wine. Brushing leaves teeth vulnerable to accepting pigment because the abrasives in tooth paste etch teeth.

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Does White Wine Stain Teeth?

Yes! When you’re eating and drinking even white wine, your teeth are more likely to pick up the color of whatever you’re eating or drinking at the same time. The etching factor makes it possible for them to soak up pigment.

All wine contains something called tannins. According to an article in Huffington Post on April 4, 2011, Dr. Wolff, a professor at NYU’s College of Dentistry says, “A tannin is an astringent. It’s a molecule that has a high binding capacity and wants to bind to the tooth structure,” Dr. Wolff says. “Also, it tends to hold the chromogens, so that compounds the issue [of staining].”

Red wine

Is there anything we can do to prevent wine from staining our teeth? Interestingly, a popular suggestion is to chew gum after drinking a glass of wine. It’s not the gum that helps, but the saliva produced that can wash away some of the staining elements.

But if you’re a regular wine drinker, Dial A Smile home teeth whitening system by Whitening Lightning can make your teeth shades whiter in just 20 minutes—right from home.

Dial A Smile has been a popular at home teeth whitening system for going on six years. It’s also popular among Hollywood celebrities, who are surely in situations where red wine is being served.

The Dial A Smile kit comes with a dial (hence its name) so you can measure the current level of tooth brightness or discoloration before you start the process. Then, when you’re finished you can compare your tooth color to the dial to see how many shades whiter your teeth are.

The kit is easy to use and directions are simple to follow. A great time to use the system is right before bed.

Dial A Smile products are cruelty-free. There’s no animal testing. And Whitening Lightning stands behind all products. If you’re unhappy for any reason, just return for a 100% refund.

Visit our website today to learn more about Whitening Lightning home teeth whitening products and Dial A Smile. Be sure to look for any special offers!
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Southern California innovator and CEO of Gerard Cosmetics, Jennifer Gerard, wheeled her home teeth whitening company, Whitening Lightning onto the teeth whitening scene in 2010.  Whitening Lightningbecame an international rage among celebrities, entertainers and their fans. In 2014 sister company,Gerard Cosmetics  took center stage. Beauty experts around the world are thrilled by the quality of these fine cosmetic products.

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