Drinking coffee is non-negotiable for a lot of people. You’ll hear many people warn about the potential for coffee staining your teeth, but some people don’t believe that this is the case.
Some people drink coffee every day, and they don’t have any dark stains on their teeth. So it poses the question of whether coffee stains teeth or not.
Coffee Can Stain Your Teeth
If you’re someone who cares a lot about what your teeth look like, you may not like this answer. Coffee can stain your teeth. Drinking coffee often can lead to several stains on your teeth that make your teeth look dirtier than they probably are.
Coffee is an acidic beverage that alone can affect your dental health, but the acidity combined with other factors are what attribute to stains and potential for impaired dental health.
Why Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth?
Coffee stains, not only your teeth, because it has certain ingredients that are prone to staining. These ingredients can leave your teeth with an unwanted yellowish tint even after just one cup of coffee.
What Causes Coffee to Stain Your Teeth?
If you want to get specific, coffee contains tannins. Tannins are the specific thing in coffee that can cause stains on your teeth. Tannins are found in other beverages, including teas and wines.
When you drink coffee, these tannins seep into the tiny pores on your teeth. When they get stuck inside these small pores, that’s how staining happens. All it takes for coffee to stain your teeth is one cup.
When you habitually drink coffee, more and more tannins can get stuck in those pores, leading to even more stains.
Can You Prevent Coffee From Staining Your Teeth?
There’s only one way to keep coffee from staining your teeth, and that’s to stop drinking coffee. If you can’t fathom giving up this energizing drink, there may be a few things you can do to prevent some stains from forming.
1. Use a Straw
Using straw limits the amount of contact the coffee will have with your teeth. Since the straw lets you bring the coffee directly behind your teeth, staining can be prevented. Even if you can’t entirely prevent it, the staining will be minimal compared to not using a straw.
Using a straw is common for those who love drinking iced coffee or cold brew, but you can still use a straw if you prefer a hot cup of joe. It may not be as comfortable, but be sure to use a straw that will not melt when it touches the hot coffee.
2. Brush Your Teeth
We should be brushing our teeth twice a day anyway, but brushing your teeth when you’re a coffee drinker is significant. Brushing your teeth after drinking coffee can help remove tannins that may have gotten stuck in the pores on your teeth.
Brushing may not altogether remove all the tannins and prevent staining, but it’s much better than drinking a cup of coffee and then going about your day without.
Everyone has heard it at least once from their dentist, “you really should floss more.” Flossing is not only great for our gums but paired with brushing after drinking coffee may be able to prevent any permanent staining on your teeth.
4. Rinse Your Mouth
Sometimes it’s not possible to brush your teeth immediately after drinking a cup of coffee. If you’re already at the office and don’t carry a toothbrush around with you, rinsing your mouth out can help.
Mouthwash is best, but again, not everyone carries mouthwash around with them. If you don’t have access to mouthwash, rinsing your mouth with some water can help prevent too much staining.
5. Keep Up With Dental Appointments
It’s recommended that everyone see the dentist twice a year, so as long as you keep up with these appointments and regularly brush and floss, you can prevent coffee from permanently staining your teeth.
How to Remove Coffee Stains From Teeth
Unfortunately, coffee can stain your teeth regardless of how well you take care of your teeth. If you have stains on your teeth from your favorite morning drink, there are some ways to remove the stains fully or at least mostly.
1. Professional Whitening Services
The best way to remove coffee stains is to seek professional whitening services. This isn’t the best option for everyone due to the price, but if you can afford it, having a professional whiten your teeth will remove most, if not all, coffee stains.
Most of the time, your dentist can handle the whitening for you. But, there are dental professionals that specialize in whitening if you prefer to go somewhere else.
The process usually involves a quick cleaning of your teeth and then polishing the top layer of your teeth. Other times, professionals will use a bleaching product that is a little more in-depth than polishing.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
A quick and easy home remedy for coffee stains on teeth is to brush with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Combining these ingredients with water and then brushing your teeth can help whiten your teeth and remove stains at the same time.
Some people recommend that you leave the paste you’ve created on your teeth for about 15 minutes before brushing. This lets the concoction seep into that pore and remove tannins that cause staining.
Please remember that using this home remedy cannot replace your regular brushing routine. You should still continue to brush your teeth twice a day and then use this remedy every so often to white and remove stains from your teeth.
3. At-Home Whitening Kits
Another affordable option for removing coffee stains is to use at-home whitening kits. Plenty of oral care companies offer whitening kits at home, so you may need to do some research on which one will be the best for you.
If you have sensitive teeth, finding one that does not cause your teeth to become extra sensitive afterwards is crucial to your sanity. There are whitening strips and whitening liquids on the market. Both are great for whitening and removing stains.