Acid in wine can damage teeth within minutes, a study suggests.
In laboratory studies, University of Adelaide researchers simulated the exposure to wine acid normally experienced by professional wine tasters.
They found just 10 one-minute episodes of wine tasting are enough to cause erosion of tooth enamel, commonly known as acid wear.
"The affected teeth become vulnerable to mechanical wear just within a few minutes of wine acid exposure," says Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, from the university's School of Dentistry.
Wine is acidic in nature and contains organic acids, including tartaric, maleic, lactic and citric acids.
Associate Professor Sue Bastian, from the university's School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, has a specific set of guidelines for her winemaking students about how to look after their teeth.
Preventative measures include apply remineralising agents in the form of calcium phosphate and fluoride the night before a tasting.
"The morning of a wine tasting, we advise not brushing the teeth or, if that's too unpalatable, chewing gum to stimulate saliva, which is naturally protective.
"After a wine tasting, the teeth are likely to be much softer, so we recommend rinsing with water, and when it comes time to clean the teeth, just putting some toothpaste on your finger and cleaning with that.
"Cleaning with a brush when teeth are soft runs the risk of damaging the enamel," she says.
The study is published in the Australian Dental Journal.