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Q&A with Dr. Fufidio: How to Keep Your Teeth from Staining While Wine Tasting

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Red wine goes well with so many meals, especially chocolate, but it can wreak havoc on our pearly whites. We interviewed top Dallas dentist, Dr. Dominique Fufidio, with her best tips for keeping your teeth white while still enjoying a weekend in the sun (and cellar) wine tasting.



Q. When drinking red wine while wine tasting, should you brush your teeth right after or swish water to help prevent staining?

Dr. Fufidio - 'I would recommend swishing with water to help buffer the mouth after sampling or drinking your wine and, believe it or not, AVOID brushing at all costs.  The wine not only can stain your teeth, but it is acidic, and if you take an abrasive like a toothbrush and toothpaste, even a soft one, to the teeth after the teeth have been exposed to an acidic agent you can erode your teeth much more easily. I like to think of it as your teeth are softer after being exposed to acid because the pH in your mouth is lowered so makes the teeth much more susceptible to erosion and abrasion which once that happens, we can't reverse that.  Stains we can work with and we can work to reverse those!'



Q. What remedies are there for bad red wine stains? (PS - How cute are these coasters from Dr. Fufidio's office?)

Dr. Fufidio - 'Avoidance is always the best method but it is not always realistic.  We all love our wine!  So in the dental office, during your biannual cleanings, the ultrasonic scaler called a cavitron can used and is the best as it will vibrate off the stains.  We can go back after using it and smooth the areas and then polish the teeth.  It is a painless procedure, and just emits a lot of water!'


'When at home, bleaching trays can be used with a strong teeth bleaching agent.  The ones that are found over-the-counter are very mild but do the job with consistency and  compliance, the ones issued in the dental office are much more potent and yield greater results.  Patients are concerned about sensitivity.  I see more sensitivity from the effects of grinding making teeth hypersensitive than from the bleaching process themselves and know this from first hand experience.  If the grinding habit is addressed, patients can whiten until they are very content with the results.
An electric toothbrush is also great for effectively cleaning the teeth and eliminating stain.  They essentially do the work for you, and frankly, do it better than our best scrubbing efforts!'


Q. Can white wine or champagne stain teeth or are those safe?

Dr. Fufidio - 'There is so much less stain with these two beverages of choice.  Again though, the acid can make your teeth softer so don't brush right after and rinse with water to help elevate the pH of the mouth again.'



Q. What's worse for staining teeth - red wine or coffee?

Dr. Fufidio -'Both stain teeth but I have seen them stain teeth differently.  In my experience, I feel as if red wine will have a general darkening effect throughout the mouth that discolors teeth, but coffee likes to stain specific areas of the teeth, mainly areas susceptible to dental crowding or tooth overlap, also by the gum line, and in the little nooks and crannies that develop in our teeth with time.  The tannins in tea are the most potent teeth offenders in regards to stain and stain teeth similarly to coffee!'



Dr. Fufidio BONUS TIPS

'In all honesty, you want to be able to enjoy your beverages and have your teeth healthy and white at the same time so do not stress as color can be changed.  Have your wine, your tea, your coffee and even the other items that can stain teeth such as blueberries and raspberries.  


Just remember to see your dentist every 6 months to have your teeth professionally cleaned and consider in investing in custom bleaching trays to touch up your teeth as needed. The best time to whiten is following a cleaning.  If you are really looking for a bright white smile, and fast, in-office bleaching is an option where in 1 hour you can leave 2-3 shades lighter!  


All of this a dental professional can do for you once you establish a relationship, however, we NEED healthy teeth or we don't have a tooth to whiten.  The acidic nature of the staining agents we discussed can really cause havoc on your teeth via enamel loss and erosion so please remember to always buffer your mouth with water to re-raise the pH of the mouth, and always wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything other than water before brushing your teeth as they are softer and more susceptible to damage.  Always use a soft toothbrush, never medium or hard, and we highly recommend electric toothbrushes.  They do an incredible job effectively cleaning the teeth and helping really eliminate stain.  If you do use an electric toothbrush, no more than twice a day as it is a powerful tool so if you need a third or fourth touch up, use a regular, manual, soft toothbrush for your in between brushing. 


I'd be happy to evaluate you, your teeth, and your level of stain or tooth discoloration and make the best recommendation as to how we can help you make your teeth healthy and white at Katy Trail Dental.  Mention this article and we are happy to offer you complimentary bleaching trays and two weeks worth of bleach with your new patient exam and cleaning!'  (Score!) Read More on this topic on Dr. Fufidio's blog here. Special thanks for the interview and if you're looking for a dentist in Dallas, be sure to book your appointment at Katy Trail Dentist.



Katy Trail Dental, the practice of Dr. Dominique Fufidio, is not your average Dallas dental office. Yes, they offer everything you’d expect from a general and cosmetic dentist's office, but their passionate focus on personalized care and patient comfort sets them apart.  Dr. Fufidio and her team pride themselves on "Treating People, Not Just Teeth!"

Dr. Dominique Fufidio relocated to Texas from New York in 2012, when she accepted an offer to attend the prestigious Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at Baylor’s School of Dental Medicine in Dallas. Preferring the warmth of Texas charm over New York winters, Dominique chose to make Dallas her home. She’s learned an immense amount about dentistry in a relatively short time, setting herself apart from her peers. She is a recipient of the Fellowship Award with the Academy of General Dentistry (a prestigious award only presented to an elite group of dentists), is an active member of numerous dental societies as well as community groups, serves as a peer reviewer for the Academy of General Dentistry and our whitening and smile expert!

Outside the office Dr. Fufidio is a nationally ranked competitive weightlifter, former gymnast, cyclist and yogi, loyal friend, and a loving daughter, sister, dog momma and wife.


Huge thanks to Dr. Fufidio for the interview. Any foods or beverages have you worried they might be staining your teeth?

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  • Anna Cesnjevar: July 20, 2017

    My dentist recommended peroxide and baking soda. I’ve tried it a few times and it’s a bit of a weird taste. I would do it once a week, and at that time my teeth weren’t the whitest. It does have a noticeable effect, and I would think using baking soda ‘regularly’ and a peroxide shot every so often.

    As for what I do now? I’m not revealing my secrets.

  • Kendall Ryder: October 04, 2016

    Another good tip to keep your teeth white would be to schedule regular dental cleanings and whitening. That way, if you can’t seem to stay away from your daily cup of coffee, you can still keep your teeth looking good. You can also make sure to either brush or rinse your mouth out after consuming foods that stain your teeth.

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