Enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or even throughout the day is one of life’s simple pleasures for many people, but a common concern is the stains that accompany that daily dose of caffeine. Surprisingly, the reason why coffee causes staining is the same reason why it contains certain health benefits. Polyphenols, an organic compound present in coffee, is a rich source of disease-fighting antioxidants. While the massive health benefits of antioxidants are evident, tannins (the type of polyphenol in coffee) break down in water and unfortunately cause the staining that all of us are trying to avoid.
It is inevitable that if you consistently drink coffee, some discoloration will occur, but the good news is that while it’s still not recommended to drink a whole pot of coffee a day (a difficult task for some of us), there are ways to avoid serious staining without having to drastically cut back!
Drink with a straw
This may feel strange when you’re drinking a hot beverage, but picking up this little habit will make a big difference. You might think that the coffee does not have time to stain your teeth if you’re taking quick sips, but it’s all the time the tannins need to do their work. Using a straw allows the liquid to bypass your teeth completely.
Prefer iced coffee
Typically we drink iced coffee with a straw, so already it’s less likely to stain your teeth. But beyond that, iced coffee is brewed over longer periods of time, and so it contains less polyphenols and is less acidic — both of which make iced coffee much less likely to stain your teeth!
Avoid sipping on your coffee all day
Lingering over a cup of coffee for hours at a time is very enjoyable, but it is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to avoid discoloration. Drink your coffee in one sitting, and then…
Drink water immediately after
After your coffee, have a glass of water. And if you’re going to brush your teeth, wait at least 15 minutes. Coffee is acidic, and brushing right away can actually hurt your enamel. Anyways, you probably will not have a toothbrush handy when you’re drinking a cup of coffee. Drinking a cup of water is an easy step to remember. It’s very effective at lifting stain-causing compounds off of your enamel and also neutralizing the pH balance in your mouth, which helps kill bacteria.
Maintain regular dental cleanings
A twice-yearly deep cleaning goes a long way in keeping your teeth white. At a regular exam and cleaning, we polish your teeth, which helps remove surface stains and keep your pearly whites… white! If you are interested in a drastic change, our office offers professional teeth whitening which is the fastest and most effective way to brighten your smile. If you are concerned about your stained teeth and would like to know all of your options, call us today to schedule a consultation.