Did you know that coffee is the most popular drink in the world after water? Every day, millions of people around the world consume coffee.
Because of its popularity, many coffee lovers are shocked to learn that coffee stains teeth. Unfortunately, it’s true. Coffee contains ingredients called tannins that can stain your teeth and noticeably dull your smile.
But don’t worry: you don’t have to give up your morning cup of joe to protect your teeth. Keep reading below to find out how you can prevent teeth stains while still enjoying your favorite caffeinated drink.
Why Is It That Coffee Stains Teeth?
Coffee contains organic compounds called tannins. Tannins contribute to the bitter taste and the dry mouthfeel of coffee. They are antioxidants and have some health benefits, but they are also what stains teeth.
Tannins can dye fabric, so (as you can imagine) they pose a risk for your pearly whites. As a general rule of thumb, if something can stain your clothes it can probably also stain your teeth.
When the enamel on the surface of your teeth comes into contact with tannins, your teeth may begin to yellow. Over time, regular consumption of coffee stains teeth. This is why regular coffee drinkers often notice tooth discoloration and yellowing.
Tannins are also found in other teeth-staining drinks like black tea and wine. In fact, many teas have nearly twice as many tannins as coffee!
How Does Coffee Affect Oral Health?
In addition to staining your teeth and dulling your smile, coffee also has an impact on your oral health. Coffee is acidic, much like carbonated drinks and vinegar. This acidity can have adverse effects on your tooth enamel.
Enamel is the protective coating on your teeth. When exposed to acidic foods and drinks, enamel can wear down. This leads to tooth sensitivity and decay.
You should also be careful if you drink your coffee with sugar. Sugar is damaging to your oral health. If you consume a lot of sugar and don’t carefully maintain your oral health, you could suffer from tooth decay and develop cavities. High-sugar diets are also linked to gum disease and other health complications.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Discoloration?
Coffee can stain your teeth, but if you take preventative measures you can still drink it regularly without experiencing adverse effects.
Brush Your Teeth
After you drink your coffee, brush your pearly whites. This will clean any coffee residue or tannins out of your mouth. Consider using a whitening toothpaste for maximum effect!
Invest In an Electric Toothbrush
Take your tooth brushing to the next level with an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can help you brush for longer without any arm or hand fatigue. They are great for removing stains and getting a thorough clean.
Rinse Your Mouth
If you’re drinking coffee on the go, you might not be able to stop and brush your teeth. In this situation, you can swish water around your mouth. Rinsing out your mouth is a quick and easy way to protect your teeth.
If you have mouthwash on hand, you can also use that to rinse.
Eat While You Drink
Eating food activates the saliva in your mouth. Munch on a snack while you drink or have your coffee with a meal. This way, your saliva can help to wash away the tannins from your coffee.
Bonus points if you go for apples, pears, cucumbers, or celery. These fruits and veggies clean your teeth while you eat them. That means that they can help to actively prevent stains.
Try Drinking Coffee With a Straw
By drinking through a straw, you can swallow your coffee without letting it come into direct contact with your teeth. That way, the coffee never has a chance to stain them! You can enjoy coffee and teeth that are bright white.
If you decide to drink with a straw, consider purchasing a reusable straw. This will reduce the environmental impact of your coffee habit.
Visit Your Dentist
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist. This will help you prevent any problems before they begin. Your dentist can give you suggestions and tips that are tailored to your unique dental needs.
How Can I Treat Tooth Discoloration?
If your teeth are already discolored, whitening treatments can help you regain a bright white smile. You can try over-the-counter whitening products or get a professional whitening treatment done at your dentist’s office.
Bleach strips and whitening toothpaste are two popular and readily available over-the-counter options. These products treat stains by using bleaching ingredients to brighten teeth. Whitening toothpastes often contain ingredients like sodium fluoride, hydrogen peroxide, and even baking soda.
Over-the-counter whitening products are easy to find and very affordable. This makes them a go-to choice for many people. You can find these products in your local grocery store or drug store.
If you prefer a stronger and faster whitening solution, you can get your teeth professionally whitened. Talk to your dentist about the best option for you.
Professional whitening services often include whitening gels that are applied to your teeth in a custom-fit tray. Your dentist might also use an LED light to make your whitening solution work faster.
If you have very sensitive teeth or gums, professional whitening is a good choice for you. Your dentist can apply protective gel to your gums so that they aren’t irritated by the whitening solution. He or she can also help you choose a treatment that won’t cause discomfort.
We’re Committed to Your Smile!
The Newbury Dental Group is proud to serve patients in Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks. From teeth whitening to dental implants and everything in between, we’re here for all your dental needs.
If you are interested in teeth whitening services or want to learn more about how coffee stains teeth, contact us today. Our team is always ready to chat with you about achieving a brighter and healthier smile! We look forward to hearing from you.