Your Pearly Whites: Preventing Coffee-Stained Teeth

Close up shot of a girl smiling, teeth half yellowish half white

If you’re like most people, you rely on a cup of coffee to kick-start your day. While this morning routine is common, it can affect your teeth and dental health. This beverage stains your pearly whites with tannins that can cause color compounds to stick to your teeth. This can then leave an unpleasant yellowish hue.

Minimizing Stains

If you can't live a day without a cup of Joe, dentists in Lafayette share some ways to minimize the stains it causes:

  • Use a straw. You don’t have to give up coffee to avoid stained teeth. Many suggest drinking coffee through a straw to keep it from having contact with your teeth. The thing is, this suggestion works best for drinking iced coffee, and not when the beverage is hot.
  • Decrease exposure time. It is also advisable to drink your coffee in one sitting. Note that sipping throughout the day constantly bathes your enamel with coffee, sugar, and tannins. Be sure to drink it at specific times and rinse your mouth with water after drinking.
  • Brush after 30 minutes. Brushing regularly can help minimize coffee stains, but be sure not to rush in doing so. Immediately brushing after drinking can erode the softened tooth enamel and reveal a yellowish hue. Wait at least 30 minutes or an hour to give the saliva time to restore the enamel.

Teeth Whitening

If you already have yellow teeth due to coffee drinking, your dentist can make your smile brighter. Bi-annual cleaning can help, but it is beneficial to have a professional cleaning for noticeably yellow choppers. In-office whitening can restore your smile and give you whiter teeth instantly.

You can also ask your dentist for customized tooth-whitening tray that you can use at home. This is more effective than over-the-counter kits and other whitening products. You can use whitening toothpaste, but note that it is more effective in removing and preventing surface stains.

The good news is you can still drink coffee and have a healthy smile. Moreover, this beverage contains polyphenols that can help keep teeth healthy and strong. Simply be sure to drink in moderation to avoid damage. Consume no more than two cups a day, drink water, and brush your teeth.