A common question about dental cosmetics involves one of our favorite beverages, coffee.
Does coffee stain your teeth?
The answer is Yes, but it doesn’t mean that you have to ban Starbucks forever, as there are ways to minimize the impact coffee has on the coloring of your teeth.
If you are a habitual coffee drinker, you are going to have more teeth discoloration than occasional drinkers. Not every stained tooth can be attributed to coffee. Several factors are also responsible for teeth discoloration; they include tobacco, fruit juices (like grape), blueberries, red wine, curry as well as soy sauce and many others. Many food beverages available on the market are responsible for teeth staining. Aging is also responsible for teeth yellowing. Tooth enamel wears as one advances in age. The wearing of enamel exposes the yellowish dentin.
Why does coffee constitute a threat to your teeth? Coffee is not friendly to the teeth because of the ingredients it contains. Coffee is known to have large acidic content and dark pigment. The acidic content is not good for the health of the teeth; it wears away the tooth enamel. This exposes the dentin, which is the yellow layer beneath the enamel. Coffee’s dark pigment can discolor your teeth. The more you consume coffee the more it discolors your teeth. The dark pigment is strong enough that even one or two cups a day can significantly discolor your teeth.
How to Avoid Teeth Stains: The best thing you can do to avoid coloration of the teeth is to avoid drinking coffee. That would not be easy for many people. Some people are habitual drinkers that they cannot give up their daily coffee drinking habit.
Useful tips that could help you keep your teeth as white as possible
Do not brush after coffee without flushing: Many people have formed the habit of brushing their teeth immediately after taking their meals. If you are a habitual coffee drinker, do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking your coffee. This is because it could cause damage to the enamel as some acidic content could remain in your mouth. It is advisable that you thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after coffee consumption. You can also remove the acid in your mouth by chewing a piece of sugar free gum. The gum helps in the production of saliva. Saliva is then beneficial by neutralizing the acid in your mouth.
Use a straw: You can drink your coffee with a straw. Drinking coffee with a straw will reduce your teeth exposure and contact with coffee. This will in turn minimize the level of discoloration of your teeth.
Use Whitening Toothpaste: There are stains removing toothpastes you can use. You can use this to remove stains from your teeth. However, you have to be cautious here because most of the toothpastes available on the market are manufactured from abrasive substances. The abrasives are not good for your teeth. Whitening toothpastes are not nearly as effective as seeing your local dentist for a professional teeth whitening. Here at Lifetime Smiles in Escondido, we use the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System
Avoid smoking: If you are a habitual smoker, you have to quit smoking. It will help your teeth a lot if you avoid tobacco smoking. Apart from helping your teeth, it also helps your overall health.
Cosmetic method: If all these do it yourself techniques fail, you may consider consulting an experienced dentist for cosmetic procedures such as porcelain crowns or veneers. You can learn more about helpful cosmetic procedures on our Cosmetic Dentistry page here.
To your bright teeth,
Dr. Rabee McDonald