Whether you’re waking up at 6 a.m. to get your day started by going to the gym or you have a long night shift for work that starts at midnight, you may often rely on a big cup of joe to get you through it. Although the delicious blend of various kinds of coffee beans awaken you each day, it’s also known as one of the most common beverages that can aesthetically ruin your teeth.
Why can’t java lovers drink their most loved drink without having to worry about the beauty of their smile? What exactly is it that stains your pearly whites? Uncover the truth behind coffee, see why it discolors your smile, and learn how to help it.
What’s in Coffee that Stains Your Teeth?
Coffee contains a number of substances and acids that contribute to the potent smell it leaves in our mouth. It’s high in sulfur compounds and tannins which both reduce water and saliva production and cause dry mouth.
It may be hard to tell, but the enamel of your teeth is not a smooth surface. If you ever were to look at a tooth under a microscope, you would see that the surface contains microscopic pits and ridges that can easily hold particles of food and drinks.
These acids found in coffee make it easier for dark beverages to linger in your mouth and stick to your teeth because they can embed in the tiny grooves on each tooth and lead to discoloration.
Other Dental Health Issues from Coffee
When you drink coffee throughout the day, it allows bacteria to quickly build up and grow on the surface of your teeth and even below your gum line. As bacteria eats away at your teeth all day long, it can cause your teeth to thin out, weaken, and increase your risk for periodontal disease.
Professional dentists like Drs. Orlando and Jonelle Stovall can help fight against this damaging bacteria, restore and enhance the aesthetics of your smile with a number of cosmetic treatments, and help protect your mouth from further infection.
The unwanted bacteria that comes from coffee can also be the root of your bad breath, also known as halitosis, because it can easily stick to your tongue and fester. The caffeine in coffee is also known to dry out the mouth and can quickly slow down your saliva production. This is bad for your oral health because saliva plays an important role in defending against cavities and keeping your teeth strong.
The Best Ways to Remove Your Stains
Sometimes it can be tough trying to get rid of those daunting yellow spots on your teeth caused by your favorite morning beverage. If you’re a coffee lover, it’s likely you won’t want to eliminate the drink from your daily routine entirely just to stop the effects of discoloration. Luckily, there are easy ways you can remove the stains and keep your smile radiating no matter what.
The most beneficial option you have to get rid of your stained teeth is asking your dentist for professional teeth cleaning at your biannual appointments. During these cleanings, your dentist can deeply remove the yellow spots from your tooth and its enamel, delivering you a brighter smile that lasts longer.
You may also want to opt for a more permanent treatment such as veneers, crowns, or dental implants, or more. A certified dentist like Dr. Amanda Sheehan can rejuvenate the health and appearance of your smile so the negative effects of coffee won’t harm your teeth as much.
If you’re someone who doesn’t keep up with their regular dentist visits as much but wants to experience the benefits of a dazzling smile as a java lover, then you can try out some teeth cleaning remedies right at home.
For example, brushing your teeth with whitening toothpaste and using a whitening mouthwash are effective ways to diminish your yellow stains and ensure good oral health. You may also purchase over-the-counter whitening gels and products to see a change in your smile.
Along with whitening products, you can also simply brush your teeth with baking soda a couple of times a month to help illuminate your smile. This is a great technique to use every now and then that doesn’t necessarily require you to buy completely new oral products.
Watch Out for These Staining Foods & Drinks
Your cup of java isn’t the only thing that can stain your smile. There are different foods and drinks that you should look out for and try to avoid if you don’t want to damage the beauty of your smile. Some of these commonly consumed foods you should be careful with include:
- Red wine
- Dark berries
- Tomato sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
Although these kinds of foods and drinks can discolor your smile, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid them altogether. Luckily there are different ways you can still enjoy your favorite Italian pasta or hot coffee while maintaining a flawless smile.
How to Drink Coffee While Maintaining a White Smile
The beloved drink is often hard to remove from our daily routine, especially when we rely on it to keep us awake throughout the day or night.
“If you’re a coffee drinker, I’ll recommend to patients that they brush their teeth 30 minutes after finishing their drink or at least rinse out their mouth with water to help avoid deep stains,” Dr. Michael Carley says.
In addition to brushing your teeth immediately after drinking coffee, other ways you can help preserve your pearly white smile while enjoying your favorite beverage include:
- Try drinking your coffee through a straw so it doesn’t touch your teeth.
- Add milk to your cup to lighten the color of your coffee.
- Accompany your coffee with water and alternate drinking both.
- Drink decaf or coffee with less caffeine to lessen the severity of stains.
- Use at-home whitening trays to help brighten existing stains.
Don’t Forget About Your Smile
When you wake up the next morning before a long day ahead of you or if you have an all-nighter to get through, consider how that big cup of joe will affect your beautiful smile. If you rely on coffee each day, remember the different tips that can help you maintain good oral health and a white smile even while enjoying your favorite beverage.