One of the main reasons you have dentures is to complete your smile. Most people want their dentures to stay white, not turn yellow or brown. Unfortunately, there are certain foods that stain dentures, veneers, bridges, and crowns. Cherries, blackberries, red wine, tomato sauces, and even dark vegetables all have components that, when consumed regularly, can result in stains on your dental work. But does that mean a person with dentures needs to stay away from these foods? No, you can still enjoy them, but with a bit more knowledge and action, you can do so without staining your teeth.
Staining Agents in Food
Many fruits and vegetables contain pigments called flavonoids and anthocyanins. Both flavonoids and anthocyanins are important parts of a healthy diet. Flavonoids regulate cellular activity in your body, helping it to fight off potentially harmful molecules. Anthocyanins are antioxidants found in red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables. Although they have plenty of documented health benefits, anthocyanins are also used as dyes and natural food colorants.
Since these components are pigments, they stain surfaces. Many materials used to make dentures are therefore susceptible to their staining power. Although dentures and other surfaces seem smooth, on a microscopic level everything has cracks, fissures, and holes. When pigments like flavonoids and anthocyanins get trapped in these imperfections, they alter how light is reflected from the surface, affecting the color. Dislodging these pigments from the microscopic cracks in the surface of your dentures is difficult, so over time they appear stained.
Removing Pigments from Dentures
Toothpastes have abrasive materials added to help scrape away plaque, food debris, and even pigments from your teeth. But your teeth have enamel – the toughest material in your body – to protect them, and enamel replaces itself on a regular basis. Dentures are not capable of self-repair, so using abrasives on dentures results in damage over time. Although some modern materials can withstand tooth brushing, it’s always best to check with your dentist at the Placerville Dental Group to determine the best way to clean your dentures. Using a cleaning agent specifically designed for your dentures is usually preferred.
Our in-house cleaning methods are designed to benefit your dentures, so keeping your semiannual checkups to get your teeth inspected and cleaned is in the best interest of your appearance. To find out more, contact our office by phone, or use our online form to list your questions. We’ll help you keep your dentures as white as you want them to be!