How to Avoid Coffee Stained Teeth

By Teah Teriele — / Lifestyle

4 ways to avoid coffee stained teeth

You have probably learned a lot of the things you've heard about coffee isn't true: it won't stunt your growth, it isn't necessarily bad for you, and it isn't better when it's picked out of a rodent's hindquarters--but it will stain your teeth if you're not careful.

An image a woman's mouth with coffee dripping from her lips.

1. Drink as much water as you do coffee. 

    Drinking coffee and water sip for sip is a good idea for keeping your pearly whites, white. A mouthful-sized swish of water after you're done drinking coffee will do the trick--but if you're anything like me and are constantly refilling your coffee cup, keeping a glass of water handy isn't a bad idea. A simple sip of water after a sip of coffee will help wash away most of what's there and hey---drinking water can help you feel energized and ready for the challenges in the day ahead.

    MYTH: Using a straw will prevent stains

    Dentist Mark Burhenne explains that even when using a straw, the coffee will still hit the back of your teeth which can be even worse. Quite simply, "if you're tasting the [coffee], the teeth have been exposed".   

    2. Floss every day

      "The PRIMARY cause for stain on the edges of teeth is that people DON'T FLOSS and plaque/calculus builds up interproximally (in between) teeth. This very porous material holds stain infinitely better then a tooth does." - Germiphene 

      MYTH: Brushing your teeth after drinking coffee will prevent stains

        It may seem like common sense that brushing your teeth after a cup of coffee is the easiest way to prevent coffee stains, but the acidity of coffee softens enamel. Brushing when the enamel is soft will strip your teeth, causing them to become more porous--and therefore become more easily susceptible to staining. 

        3. Avoid teeth whitening strips

        For the same reason as waiting thirty minutes after drinking coffee--chemical agents in teeth whitening strips will make your teeth more porous and will absorb more coffee, creating stains. 

        An image of dental tools.

        4. Get your teeth cleaned every six months, professionally 

          This may seem obvious, but it's important to know why: It's the plaque that gets stained by coffee, not the teeth themselves. Coffee staining means you have plaque, which the dentist can remove with a professional teeth cleaning.

          Put it to the test! There isn't a magical way to instantly reverse any yellowing that has already happened. Applying these tips every day will help prevent further yellowing, and over the course of time, improve and whiten your smile!


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