Group selfie at the wine bar! Girls’ night out… this is going straight to social media. Social media was born because someone finally realized that other people are utterly fascinated with whatever we are doing at every second of the day, and there can be a way to satisfy that fascination for our 659 friends. First came pictures of dinner, then came the selfie—we are rapidly evolving into a species for whom surveillance cameras would be redundant. But it’s fun!
You and the gals get all gussied up and hit the wine bar in search of new and exciting types and flavors.
The quiet friend says, “Tonight I’m going to try a Gewürztraminer.”
The funny friend says, “Gesundheit.”
The loud friend says, “Why is everyone talking in German?”
The quiet friend says, “That wine has an umlaut.”
The funny friend says, “Also known as a smooth finish.”
You say, “An umlaut is two dots.” (You might be considered the smart friend.)
The loud friend says, “Bartender, over here!”
You love your girls and love the times you get to spend hanging out, laughing, looking pretty, and drinking wine. So inevitably, selfie time comes. You are warm and tingly with the heat of two glasses of a spicy Cabernet Sauvignon. You all smash together and fix your hair a little. Funny friend, with the longest arms, holds out her smartphone and snaps a pic. You are sure that you all look like supermodels and that posting the pic can’t happen fast enough. Everyone needs to know this kind of happiness. And hotness.
Funny friend looks at it and says, “We are all smiling like crazy people! Hyenas! Do hyenas actually smile or just laugh?” She passes the phone around for the group’s approval.
Quiet friend says, “Nice! Love it!” She passes it to loud friend who says, “WTF? My teeth are like…grey.” She passes the phone to you and says, “Girl, yours are even worse. Sorry.”
You look at the selfie of the supermodels and you are indeed smiling like a hyena, but your teeth are the color of bruises. Your smile is like a stratum in a rock layer in the Badlands of South Dakota—the purple layer. Why is there a sedimentary rock layer in your mouth instead of your actual pretty teeth? This is an emergency.
“No, don’t post this one,” you say, flicking your thumbs over the picture to get to a place where you can delete it.
Funny friend takes back her phone. “What? It’s fine!”
“It’s not,” you say. “Delete it. Delete. DUH.LEET. DEEEE-LEEEET that picture! Please.”
Of course she deletes it, because these are your girls—all for one and one for all.
“No offense, but seriously, what is going on with your teeth?” she asks.
[ENTER MAGICAL FAIRY GODMOTHER OF GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT]
“Loud friend, your teeth are grey because of a lack of enamel and the consumption of red wine. Smart friend (you), your teeth look like the bruises on a prizefighting boxer because your enamel is even more eroded and you’ve also been drinking red wine.”
She goes on to explain that the less enamel you have on your teeth, or the more plaque you have, the more red wine will stain them. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone forever. This is a hard blow to you, whose teeth apparently soak up the tannins in red wine like so many tiny sponges.
The takeaway message is to preserve your remaining enamel at all costs, and that means, believe it or not, DO NOT brush your teeth right after drinking wine to remove those unattractive stains. Dentists advise against brushing your teeth immediately after drinking red wine because the acidity of the wine makes your teeth even more vulnerable to abrasion and loss of enamel. This seems like a no-win situation. Brush your teeth well before drinking wine to eliminate any plaque buildup that might soak up the color. Brushing before wine is a win-win situation, so do that.
Another trick is to have a nice glass of bubble water or still water between glasses of wine. Someday when I post about how to avoid a wine hangover, this advice will reappear. The water actually rinses your mouth and helps to prevent the bruise-colored teeth.
Finally, Magical Fairy Godmother of Girls’ Night Out bestows upon you a special gift. It’s in a compact and has a mirror, so yes please. There is a thing, in real life, called Wine Wipes. It’s a beautiful, ingenious addition to any tiny purse accompanying a girl to a wine bar.
This is a real solution to grey-tooth syndrome that you can do in a flash and it actually works. Overuse will likely lead to further enamel erosion as explained before, so don’t overuse them.
Taking any one of the Magical Fairy Godmother’s tips might have made that selfie look like the group of supermodels you imagined. Not because you’re really supermodels. But when you laugh and smile, nothing compares, and you are the most beautiful girls ever.
It’s possible to drink red wine and still smile big with pretty teeth. But really, the beauty is in the love that happens at every moment outside of that picture. The beauty is in the cab ride home when you all try to spell Gewürztraminer.