Most people have been in this somewhat embarrassing situation before: they’ve had several glasses of red wine-Merlot, Cabernet, take your pick-and the evidence is all over their teeth and lips. Whether enjoying an evening glass at home or while eating out with some friends, people don’t require anything special to rid themselves of wine-stained teeth or lips. A few easy fixes-and some solid preparation-can mean having your cake and eating it too, or, better yet, having your red and drinking it too.
If someone notices they have red teeth as well as red, wine-stained lips, it is likely the byproduct of the wine’s pigments clinging to the plaque on the teeth’s surface, so the easiest fix would be to remember to brush before partaking. It’s also essential to brush your teeth before drinking because wine is very acidic. Enough exposure to the acid in such drinks can wear enamel down, therefore making teeth susceptible to tooth sensitivity or decay. Vigorously brushing to rid teeth of stains could cause further damage, so opt for a soft-bristled brush after a night out.
Additionally, when lips are dry, it’s more likely for them to become stained from red wine as dry lips will absorb more moisture from whatever a person’s drinking, which might manifest as flaky, red lips. Before drinking, take a moment to exfoliate the lips using a clean, dry toothbrush, some water with baking soda mixed in, or a towel for ridding the lips of its dry skin. From there, use a quality lip balm for hydrating the lips, which should lessen the likelihood of stains.
Admittedly, it may not exactly be a refined way of enjoying red wine, but it could at least protect the lips from stains: use a straw, so that the wine bypasses the lips altogether. In case you’re in a restaurant and feel uncomfortable requesting a straw, just ask your waiter for a wine spritzer or a mixer in a tall glass rather than a standard wine glass.
For those in public who notice their lips have stained already, they can ask for a lime or lemon wedge with their drink. It’s easy to discreetly bite into the citrus using the lips, and the high amount of acidity can help dissolve the leftover stains from the wine. If the lime or lemon juice touches the teeth, swish some water around in the mouth to keep the acid from lingering on the teeth’s enamel.
For those who notice they have red lips, there is always embracing the color by making it appear intentional. A fast onceover with some lip balm could add enough shine so the red color looks like gloss rather than wine residue. There is also keeping clear gloss inside a purse to avoid any further embarrassment from wine-stained lips.