But NOT so good for your teeth! – Just in time for Christmas dinner, there is good news and bad news about wine (and alcohol in general): Wine is good for your heart but bad for your teeth.

A group of drunken fruit flies have helped researchers identify entire networks of genes (also present in humans) that play a key role in alcohol drinking behavior. This explains why some people seem to tolerate alcohol better than others. Researcher Mark Johnson says, “From a scientific point-of-view, research like this is almost intoxicating. We’ve known for a while now that genetics played a role in alcohol consumption, but now, we actually know some of the genes that are involved. As a result of this work, we have a potential drug target for curing this insidious condition.”

Red wine is good for the heart, but white wine contains acids that can erode tooth enamel. BBC News quotes researcher Damien Walmsley as saying, “The ability of acidic foods and drinks to erode tooth enamel is well understood, and white wine is recognized as being more erosive than red. If you’re going to have a glass of wine do so with your meal and leave a break of at least 30 minutes afterwards before you brush your teeth and go to bed. Consuming wine alongside food, rather than on its own, means the saliva you produce as you chew helps to neutralize its acidity and limits its erosive potential. And leaving time before brushing teeth gives the enamel a chance to recover from the acid attack and makes it less susceptible to being brushed away.”

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