One of the things you have to keep in mind when you get dental implants is whether you need to change anything about your diet or lifestyle. In this case, drinking wine. Can you drink wine right after a dental implant procedure or similar treatment? Can wine or other types of beverages hurt your implants in any way?
Drinking Wine Immediately After Implant Installation
In the case of drinking wine right after your dental implants are installed, it’s best to pass. The reason being you may be on some pain medication (which could counteract with the alcohol) or your mouth might still be a little numb. You don’t want to accidentally dribble wine down your mouth and stain a shirt, or bite your lips since you can’t feel everything yet.
For the first couple of days, say no to the wine. And if you’re on pain medication longer than that for any reason, avoid all alcohol altogether. Once you’re off of any prescriptions and everything is nice and healed, you can think about enjoying an adult beverage.
But there are still a few things you’ll want to consider. Like whether or not drinking wine is going to stain your new implants.
What Causes Tooth Stain?
Before we dig down much deeper, it’s important to understand tooth anatomy. Tooth enamel is porous and all of those microscopic pores will gradually absorb stain particles from the environment, drinks we like (coffee, tea, wine, etc.), and darken with age. While superficial staining can usually be polished off of your teeth during a professional dental cleaning, deeper stains can still exist inside of the pores.
Even if you’ve had white, bright teeth in the past, time can make them grow darker. To the point that a dental cleaning and polish isn’t enough to make them look much brighter than they already are.
On top of aging and tiny micropores, teeth can also develop small cracks that can take on stains. The only way to lift these deep stains is to have your teeth professionally whitened. Surface polishing can’t reach them. Fortunately, your dentist can administer a safe and effective bleaching solution that can help your teeth look white like they did before (if not even brighter!)
Keep in mind that any wine or other dark liquids will continue to put stains back into your teeth. So if you’ve whitened, you’ll have to keep whitening to keep your smile bright.
Lastly, neither teeth nor dental implants are immune to plaque and tartar buildup. If you’re not as good about brushing and flossing as you need to be, all of that extra buildup can accumulate across your smile, harboring everything from bacteria and foul odors to unsightly stain particles.
Will Wine Stain Dental Implants?
Red wine can stain just about anything. And if you drank it regularly in the past, you’ve probably already seen what it can do to natural tooth enamel. Can it do the same to your dental implants?
It depends on what your dental implants are made from! Some materials aren’t porous like tooth enamel, while others are. For simplicity’s sake, let’s compare two of the most common types of implant restoration materials: zirconia and acrylic.
Zirconia is an extremely durable ceramic that is the strongest of all restorative materials. It’s also non-porous. But can it still develop stain?
Let’s say you have zirconia implants and drink several glasses of red wine one evening. When you smile in the mirror, you might see just a tiny little bit of residue on your teeth. But if you rinse your mouth with some water and brush your teeth once you get back home, you shouldn’t have any more visible discoloration.
But if you don’t brush your teeth, the plaque and other buildup that the red wine stain adheres to can harden into tartar. You can’t brush or floss tartar off of your teeth; it has to be professionally cleaned by your dentist or hygienist. If your oral hygiene isn’t very good, you can expect to see buildup (and stain inside of the buildup) regardless of what your implants are made out of.
On the other hand, there are acrylic implant restorations. Acrylic is used on a frequent basis, but it’s also much more porous than zirconia is. Like teeth, those porous surfaces have more microscopic areas to absorb stain and for plaque to adhere. So if you were to drink the same amount of red wine as someone with zirconia “teeth”, you would likely see more stain on your smile. That doesn’t mean it would be severe stain, but there would be a noticeable difference.
Fortunately, with good oral hygiene and routine professional dental cleanings, you can keep buildup at bay. But if you frequently drink wine or things like coffee and tea, acrylic restorations will likely darken with time. Since zirconia is non-porous, they’ll stay white as long as you clean them properly.
Can You Bleach Dental Implants?
All of this information leads us to beg the question, “Is it possible to bleach dental implants?” Particularly acrylic restorations, since they can stain? Sadly, no. Restorative materials like acrylic or resin don’t lighten to a natural color when dental bleach is applied. The only way to rejuvenate the area is to have them updated with something else.
Any stains that can’t be brushed away will soak into the acrylic. If you’re a fairly regular wine drinker or enjoy going to wine tastings, that could be a big problem.
A Smart Advantage for Wine Drinkers
At ARCHPOINT, we typically recommend zirconia dental implants because of their durability and aesthetic advantages. And if you’re a wine drinker, you have even more of a reason to invest in these dazzling restorations! Still, we recommend rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking wine, brushing and flossing each day, and scheduling regular dental cleanings. That way any plaque or tartar buildup (which can absorb stain) is removed on a frequent basis.