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News / March 17, 2010

Green drinks stain pearly whites

by Guy Hiscott

This St Patrick’s day, should any of your patients indulge in a green drink or two, they may well end up showing off a green grin.

Dentists warn that the green food colouring that is added to the celebratory drinks stains the bacterial cell walls in plaque.

Since the dye used can also stain dental work, patients with veneers or other types of restorative work should be especially careful. Natural teeth are also at risk, of course.

The answer to the problem is to take care of the green tinge within 20 to 30 minutes of drinking, with a good brush and floss and perhaps some sugar-free chewing gum.

It is also suggested that drinking through a straw will help, as will chugging the drinks as opposed to sipping, as there is less contact time with the teeth.