With summer here and late nights on the back porch sipping wine with girlfriends becoming a staple in our routines (hello rosé all day!), there’s one important thing you shouldn’t do after having a glass: brush your teeth.
Wine can sometimes give your mouth a dry feeling and reaching for your toothbrush after drinking it might seem like the best way to refresh, but according to the experts, this is considered a major no-no. New York cosmetic dentist Timothy Chase, MD, says the acidity in wine can be quite high (white varieties are much higher), so it demineralizes the teeth. “Brushing right after drinking wine could lead to the loss of tooth enamel, and there is no way to replace it,” he explains. “You should wait at least half an hour.”
But what about other alcoholic beverages? “Other alcohols do not have the same acid content, but many mixed drinks have other ingredients—fruit juices, sour mixes, etc—that can make them just as bad for teeth, if not worse,” says Dr. Chase. “I recommend the half-hour rule after eating or drinking any food other than water, and especially those with high acid contents like citrus.”
If you think you’ve made this mistake one too many times, try incorporating an enamel-strengthening toothpaste, like Crest Pro-Health Sensitive and Enamel Shield Toothpaste ($3) or Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste ($7), into your routine to help protect against some of the damage caused by acidity. It won’t fix the problem, but it may provide some help. The bottom line: Make a conscious effort to hold back from brushing after drinking vino. You only get one set of teeth!