Many millions of Americans start their morning with a freshly-brewed cup of coffee. And in fact, a cup or two of coffee a day may have some benefit to your health. But not many think about what their morning ritual is doing to their oral health. In fact, regular consumption of coffee can cause stains on your teeth.
In this post, we’ll talk about how and why coffee can stain your teeth. And so you don’t have to give up on your favorite morning beverage, we’ll discuss how you can prevent coffee from staining your teeth. Read on for our expert tips!
Explained: Why Coffee Stains Your Teeth
Some foods and beverages can stain more than others. Simply put, anything that can cause stains on your clothes can do the same on your teeth. This includes beverages like tea and coffee. But why exactly does coffee stain your teeth?
Coffee is composed of a rich collection of over a thousand compounds, with the majority being responsible for your favorite flavors and aromas. Of course, the one we’re most familiar with is caffeine, which causes coffee’s stimulant effects and gives you the energy to take on the day.
But coffee also contains numerous oils and tannins that contribute to its texture and flavor – and it’s these that explain why coffee stains teeth.
Tannins are varieties of compounds known as polyphenols. They’re able to form bonds with various molecules, and their name comes from their use in tanning animal hides to turn into leather. Naturally, they’re just as good at staining your teeth, and the acidic nature of coffee weakens tooth enamel, causing stains to form more easily.
Worse still, the coffee oils help the tannins stick to the surfaces of the teeth and tongue, potentially making the stains worse on your teeth and contributing to bad breath. If you use cream and sugar in your coffee, it helps accelerate the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
So how can you enjoy a cup of coffee without worrying about tooth decay and dental problems?
How To Prevent Coffee Stains On Your Teeth
We’ve compiled some tips from our best oral surgery experts in Cypress to help you prevent coffee stains on your teeth.
- Cut back on the coffee. Yes, we know, but we’re not asking you to give it up entirely! You can enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, but cutting back on coffee will lead to fresher breath, less staining, and lowered tooth enamel erosion. Better yet, cutting out caffeine later in the day helps you get higher quality sleep at night.
- Avoid cream and sugar. Use as little cream and sugar in your coffee as possible, and drink your coffee in a single session, rather than continuously sipping at it throughout the day.
- Drink iced coffee with a straw. Using a straw means your teeth are exposed to the coffee for less time.
- Don’t brush right after coffee! Acidic beverages like coffee weaken tooth enamel enough that brushing could do more harm than good.
- Have a drink of water after your coffee. Simply having some water after a cup of coffee is enough to rinse your mouth of coffee residue.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly is an excellent way to keep your teeth in shape and free of stains and plaque buildup. Just remember to wait after drinking or eating.
Dentists suggest that you drink no more than two cups of coffee a day to keep your teeth in good shape. And that sounds reasonable; after all, you get to enjoy your coffee and maintain your dental health!
Of course, if you’re particularly concerned about coffee stains on your teeth, a qualified dentist can eliminate them with a thorough cleaning.
Katy Cypress Oral Surgery covers all of your oral surgery and dental cleaning needs, with the top priority being safety, effectiveness, and patient comfort. We invite you to discover the difference a highly skilled, dedicated team can make. For any questions or concerns, or to get more information about consultations or appointments, call us at (281) 667-0607.