Attack Of The Red Dye: Valentine's Day Candy And Your New Dental Implant

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Valentine's Day is coming, and with it, wine, candy, and more goodies that could result in tooth stains. If you have a new dental implant, this can be bittersweet news because some of that candy (as well as the red wine) can leave stains behind. Implant crowns are generally tough when it comes to staining, as long as they haven't been exposed to abrasive materials. But the bonding material, and the fact that this is not a natural tooth that extends into the gumline, both pose problems for candy eaters.

Candy Coating and You

The occasional Valentine's chocolate isn't going to do much to your implant in the short-term, let alone in the long-term. But candy coatings, like on jelly bean hearts, licorice pastilles/pastels, and more, can stain like no one's business. Most of the stain will be in tartar and food debris stuck around your teeth, and that stuff can be removed. However, it can be very tough to remove some of the stain at the gumline. And if you have an implant, you could have to deal with bits of red-colored debris stuck at the bottom edge of the crown for days.

Plus, if you eat enough of the candy (and that is really tempting and totally understandable), some of that stain can leach into the bonding material along the gumline where the implant is. You'd have a red line right near your gums, which would look alarming to anyone who didn't know what caused it. And that can be very difficult to remove because you can't just scrape off the bonding material like you can with plaque.

What You Can Do

Chewing the candy on the opposite side of the mouth — the side that doesn't have an implant — can help reduce staining on the implant side. Yet, it's not foolproof.

Try to limit the candy you eat that has coatings that stain. If you do eat some, drink water along with the candy to hopefully wash away some of the dye. After about a half hour, when your tooth enamel has had time to recover, brush your teeth thoroughly and floss around the implant. Tooth enamel can weaken as you eat foods with acidic components like citric acid, thus making the enamel prone to damage if you brush too quickly after eating.

If you're really having a problem getting rid of that red stain, go back to a dentist, like those at Apollo Dental Center, for a cleaning and to discuss what to do about stained bonding material. Valentine's candy is tasty, but you do have to be careful about those brightly colored morsels if you want to avoid tooth staining.