A nice cup of joe, the perfect start to morning routines all around the world – can be why many no longer smile with their teeth. It is time for coffee lovers to take note: your morning kick starter liquid could affect your dental health, especially leaving stains on your teeth. In this article I have put together what you need to know about coffee teeth stains to make sure you do your part, to have your brightest smile!
What Causes The Stain?
A simple rule of thumb for teeth care – if it can stain your clothes, it can stain your teeth. This is especially true when it comes to beverages like wine, tea and you guessed it – coffee!
Coffee contains an ingredient called tannins. It is a polyphenol that breaks down when it comes in contact with water. Tannins is what causes color compounds to stick to your teeth.
Also, our teeth are naturally porous and are covered with tubules, thousands of tiny little holes, which house the nerve tissue. These tiny tubules gradually collect bacteria and stain particles through food consumption over time.
So, your teeth begin to show coffee stains cause of all the following reasons –
- Coffee is liquid and it tends to flow more easily, entering teeth tubules quite easily
- Darker foods, such as coffee, can lead to more stains and more stains lead to darker teeth
- Coffee is consumed regularly, usually one cup a day, constantly exposing the tubules to tannins compounds over time
How To Remove Teeth Stains?
1. Professional Medical Care
Regular cleanings with your dentist are a simple way to get rid of your coffee stains on your teeth. Your dentist will likely put a bib around you, ask you to sit back and use their power polishing tools to buff away any stains. If the stains are have gotten pretty deep and don’t seem to go away at first try, they could use an air polisher. Similar to a paint patch up job on a wall, the air polisher will spread around a little polishing powder causing your teeth to look whiter.
It is advised to consult your dentist at least once every six months. This way you can get the buildup cleaned off which helps with your overall oral health and fresher breath. The more frequent the cleaning is done, the less need for using more “heavy-duty” teeth whitening options.
2. Whitening Toothpaste
Teeth whitening toothpaste is used more as a preventive measure to avoid new teeth stain forming over time. Available across several brands, this is a go to product of regular coffee drinkers.
But please ensure to consult with the teeth whitening toothpaste instructions and your dental hygienist, as it can make your teeth more sensitive. You can possibly alternate the whitening toothpaste with a common brand of sensitive toothpaste to minimize any unwanted irritation.
3. Brushing with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking soda acts as an abrasive and can buff away tooth stains, whereas hydrogen peroxide is a natural whitener. You can make a small mixture of the two and use your tooth brush to brush away stains.
This should not be attempted more than once or twice a month as it could lead to –
• Damaging of teeth and gum
• Black hairy tongue disease
• Loss of taste and feeling inside mouth
Please ensure to use this option sparingly after consulting with your dentist.
4. Whitening Strips/Trays
There are some over the counter teeth whitening products that contain bleaching gel that can help remove coffee stains. If the coffee stains are heavier, you can use whiten gel, strip, or tray to help polish out your teeth and take your smile to the next level.
There products do help with the internal tooth stain to a degree, and should be carefully applied to your teeth. You can take help from someone around to ensure it doesn’t touch your gums as it could lead to irritation. Here is a resource to using whitening strips properly.
5. Toothbrush Upgrade
An electric toothbrush naturally gives you more strokes per second with its powered rotary, as compared to a manual toothbrush. It may be time to upgrade your tooth brush to cater your coffee habit, as a routine use of this device can remove plaque better and help stain prevention.
Some electric toothbrushes, such as Burst, now come with a built in “whitening” mode that can be used after brushing. It is important you spend at least one to two minutes per teeth with the brush, before moving on to the next.
Changing Your Coffee Habit
If you are not ready to give up your favorite beverage, you can try using some simple tricks to help avoid tooth staining:
- Cutting back and drinking less through the day – possibly having a single cup of coffee in the morning and green tea later in the day
- Avoid or reduce using creamer and sugar as they speed up growth of discoloring bacteria
- Having your coffee in one sitting instead of small sips through the day to prevent bacteria buildup
- Drink a glass off water after your coffee session to rinse mouth and teeth
- Sipping iced coffee through a straw to avoid any teeth contact
- Brushing your teeth thirty minutes after drinking your coffee
- Eating raw fruits and vegetables, like strawberries and lemons, that contain natural fibers which can break down bacteria
Some Other Foods To Keep In Mind
Since we are on the topic of tooth stain, you can watch out for some other foods that contribute to the same problem. Coffee isn’t the only culprit, here are some others to watch out for:
- Red wine
- Soda, Sports drinks and colored beverage
- Fruit juices
- Ice creams and popsicles
- Vitamins, prescription medications
As much as we love our cup of coffee, coffee teeth stains are a bad side effect. Taking the necessary care and precaution from early on will make sure that the stain is a temporary guest on our teeth. I hope these simple do it yourself tactics have been useful in your teeth stain remove needs. Should it persist longer, it would be best to consult your dentist to discuss professional teeth whitening systems.
Please feel free to share your thoughts about this article and leave a comment below!