I’ve been in New York City all week, tasting Austrian (and now Loire Valley) wines for Wine & Spirits magazine. As anyone who’s ever tasted vast quantities of high-acid wines at one time knows, dental health is one of the major casualties of the freak show that is professional wine tasting.
Here at the magazine, I generally taste between 100 and 120 wines a day, five days a week. Now, the state of my teeth and gums is not what you might term “magnificent”, “outstanding”, or “impeccable”. They’re healthy enough, but they would never be models of perfection for aspiring students of dentistry. This is not for lack of attention—I brush religiously with a soft toothbrush, I floss fastidiously and I try to remember to see the dentist for checkups whenever I should. But perhaps the steady onslaught of wine is simply too much punishment for my teeth to handle. It probably has something to do with genetics as well, unfortunately.
This week, I’ve been using a fluoride rinse each morning before my tastings, and it seems to be helping considerably. My mouth feels much less beaten up after each tasting session, and when I taste a group of 40 red wines at a time, they leave less of a stain on my teeth than usual, which I interpret (from my distinctly non-dentistry-savvy perspective) as being a positive sign for oral well-being. Not quite sure if this does anything in the way of gum protection, though, which is a crucial piece of the puzzle.
Anyone have any advice for tooth and gum health in regards to winetasting? I know that at least one of you out there must be a practicing dentist or have some secret dentistry special forces training or something to that effect....