How to Avoid Staining Teeth When Drinking Coffee
How to Avoid Staining Teeth When Drinking Coffee
On this article, we discuss "How to Avoid Staining Teeth When Drinking Coffee" and the wonders of polyphenols a lot. These tiny, nutrient-dense, anti-aging miracle workers can stain your teeth.
It’s not all bad news.
The same polyphenols can help your teeth become more acid resistant.
That means stronger, healthier enamel! Still, you want to look as healthy as you are, right?
It is coffee’s polyphenols, also known as tannins, that cause staining.
I already know that many of my readers prefer natural methods and use home remedies to enhance their smile. If not, please see my post on how to use coconut oil as a natural whitener.
But once you get rid of stains, how do you avoid more of the same?
Today, I’m going to share eight effective methods to keep coffee from yellowing your teeth. That way, you can get the caffeine boost you crave without sacrificing your smile.
Fast Facts About White Teeth
Having a great smile - or not - can have a massive impact on our self-esteem.
Before we discuss how to avoid coffee staining, I want to quickly run down a few points about teeth whitening.
Hopefully, we can focus on appreciating, as well as optimizing, our unique smiles.
The shade of your teeth is predetermined. On one hand, you can take comfort in the fact that having less-than-pearly-white teeth isn’t all your fault. On the other, it’s frustrating to want what you can’t have.
But you must be realistic about what whitening results you can safely achieve. Everyone’s enamel and dentin are a different shade, and very few of us have naturally bright white teeth.
Check the choppers of close relatives who don’t smoke. Chances are, the natural color of your enamel will be similar to at least one of theirs. So if you’re looking to lift stains and find that you plateau at a certain level, that’s why.
White teeth are often not what they seem. A lot of us end up craving megawatt smiles because that’s what we see everywhere. Actresses and models, television and magazines condition us to believe this is essential to being beautiful.
I think we can all agree that a shiny, clean smile is attractive. But we also know that the media has many tricks and a lot of money for the images they project.
Lifting stains takes time. In your pursuit of fading stains, be patient. When I began oil pulling, it actually took over a month for me to see max results. And I thought the one-week results were good! A lot of how long stain removal takes depends on how long the stains have been building up.
But you also need to know what kind of staining you have. Extrinsic staining refers to stains on the enamel, which is the porous surface of the tooth. Conversely, intrinsic stains occur on the dentin, inside of the tooth.
Common causes of intrinsic staining include physical trauma to the mouth and certain medications. If you suspect you have intrinsic staining, it may be best to consult a dentist. Over time, your enamel wears down and makes these stains more obvious.
Your dentist will likely recommend a specific whitening kit that can access deep stains. If the stains are more severe, you can explore getting caps and crowns.
Eight Practical Ways to Avoid Teeth Staining from Coffee
Assuming, you are certain, that coffee is the culprit for your stains, let’s see how we can avoid further staining.
1. Use a straw
If you sip away through a straw, you won’t be exposing as much of the surface area of your teeth to staining substances.
This is common protocol, recommended by dentists, for patients who have undergone professional whitening treatments.
Truthfully, it can look a little odd to others. But I still do this anyway, even when having the occasional glass of red wine. I find that it’s not as conspicuous if you use a smaller milk straw or coffee stirrer.
The thing is, coffee will still meet your tongue. Your tongue touches your teeth constantly, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Therefore, it’s pretty crucial to use a straw in conjunction with a few more techniques.
2. Drink more water
It takes time for liquids to penetrate and stain. If you can reduce the time coffee residue sits in your mouth, you can reduce the chance of stains forming.
When you’re at home, you can simply rinse your mouth out with water immediately after having a cup. Or, you can make a habit of drinking coffee and water together.
If you’re like me and don’t drink coffee regularly, it can have a diuretic effect. If you have built up a tolerance to caffeine you may not experience this.
Opinions differ greatly with respect to whether or not coffee is actually dehydrating.
Still, it never hurts to drink more water. Consider it a happy coincidence that drinking water alongside your coffee can help prevent stains.
3. Step up your daily dental routine
Plaque is a magnet for stains. Have you noticed that coffee discoloration tends to be concentrated near the gum line?
Are stains more obvious along the sides, where your teeth meet one another? In this way, your teeth aren’t stained. It’s the plaque that stains.
Reduce plaque, and you’ll reduce the occurrence of staining. To begin, get your teeth professionally cleaned at the dentist. From there, brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Oil pull in the morning before brushing and floss at night before brushing.
Do you use a manual toothbrush? It’s time to go with an electric rechargeable. I think some people have avoided making this switch because electric toothbrushes used to be quite expensive. These days, they’re just as high-quality but much more affordable.
But wait, there's more:
The Oral-B 1000 claims to remove more than 300 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and many dentists would back that. The in-handle automatic timer also ensures that you spend the appropriate amount of time brushing.
The Sonicare Plaque Control Brush whisks plaque away with more than 30,000 sonic strokes per minute.
Each of these cost under 50 bucks and will last for years. You only need to change the brush heads every few months.
4. Dilute with dairy
Like your coffee light? This can actually help you avoid stains.
But before you grab that bottle of sugary, flavored coffee creamer...
Please, let me explain.
If you really want to prevent stains, you must use real dairy, preferably a fatty kind.
Skim milk and nut or plant milk will not, unfortunately, do the trick. This is because dairy like cow’s milk contains proteins which grab onto those stain-making polyphenols.
When the polyphenols join up with proteins, they don’t have the chance to stick to your teeth. Once the milk and coffee travel to your stomach, the bond will be broken.
If you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan, I understand that this isn’t an option.
Stick with me to get some tips on how to reduce a number of polyphenols in your coffee.
5. Avoid other substances that dull your smile
What would you give up for coffee’s sake?
If you like blueberry pie, pinot noir, soda, or black tea, you have a tough choice to make.
Logically, we could assume that coffee isn’t the only substance that has ever stained your teeth. Especially if you have been accumulating stains over the long-term.
Therefore, you want to first cut out anything else that may be sabotaging your smile.
You have the usual suspects, like dark berries and cola. But a few other surprising foods and drinks could be making your stains more obvious.
If you think that sticking to white wine is better for white teeth, you may be wrong. As it turns out, the acidity in white wine can make your enamel more porous.
So when you do eat or drink something that is overtly staining, it travels deeper into the surface of the tooth. This can make the stain darker, more obvious, and tougher to get rid of.
If you eat a lot of citrus fruits, the acid from these foods can wear enamel down over time.
If you brush immediately after, the damage can be even worse!
The darkening you see isn’t technically a stain, but the dentin underneath showing through. Dentin is generally an undesirable shade of yellow.
You can’t live without your coffee?
Then eliminate or restrict anything else that may contribute to discoloration.
And it should go without saying, but definitely, don't smoke. Smoking is much more likely to be at fault for staining than a cup of coffee.
6. Choose your coffee wisely
Not all coffees stain teeth to the same degree. Check and see if you have been drinking Robusta or Arabic coffee.
Robusta beans have more caffeine and are more bitter than Arabica.
Not sure how to tell what your coffee contains?
Robusta beans are more commonly used in espresso and instant coffee. Although it is often cheaper to produce than Arabica, it’s much less popular among consumers and producers alike.
Yet it’s still out there, and some suspect that it’s used for filler in some blends of ground coffee. Robusta contains more polyphenols and is therefore apt to stain your teeth.
Choose only coffees that specifically state they are comprised of 100% Arabic coffee.
Dry-processed is also preferable. The difference in the level of tannins will alleviate staining if you’ve been imbibing Robusta.
7. Change the way you brew
And for that matter, the way you grind. Dr. Scott Frey of FreySmiles has done quite a bit of legwork in determining which methods stain the most.
According to his findings, Turkish and espresso-making methods carry the most stain-creating probability.
Additionally, he estimates that many household coffee makers are comparable to the pour over method. The pour overcomes in at number four on the spectrum of methods that stain teeth.
All the way at the very bottom is the cold brew method. Using coarsely ground beans, this method is hypothesized to have the least negative impact on maintaining white teeth.
Contrary to what the name implies, you don’t have to drink cold brew cold.
By all means, heat it up!
It’s also ridiculously easy to make at home, which is nice considering how trendy it’s becoming.
To make cold brew, all you need is coarsely-ground coffee, a sterilized jar, cold brew coffee bags, and water.
Or, just get an infusing pitcher suitable for cold brew.
Let the coffee and water steep together for 24 hours before straining well.
That sounds like a long time to make coffee, right?
But the good news here is that you can make a large batch and store it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for weeks!
On top of keeping your smile white, cold brew is much less acidic. And although I’m not big on coffee, I think it tastes much better than the countertop drip stuff.
8. Use whitening methods
Lighten existing stains and periodically touch up your work for a consistently brighter smile. If oil pulling with coconut oil isn’t an option, or it doesn’t lift enough for you, there are other avenues.
Watch short 3 minute video showing you How to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally at home!
Add a sprinkle of baking soda on top of your toothpaste before brushing. While the abrasion is much gentler than commercial whitening toothpaste, it’s still enough to work stains loose.
You can also try whitening with turmeric or activated charcoal. Both of these methods are perfect for those who have literally been burned by whitening strips and trays. You can alleviate inflammation, detoxify, and sweep away stains in one fell swoop.
BONUS Tip for You:
High fiber fruits and vegetables help keep teeth clean.
The old saying is true - an apple is nature’s toothbrush. Chomp down on a healthy snack of apples, celery, carrots, or other fibrous produce.
Final Word on How to Avoid Staining Teeth When Drinking Coffee
Does drinking coffee make you happy?
Then don’t let it ruin your smile!
Coffee packs a powerful antioxidant punch, but unfortunately, it’s some of those same antioxidants that stain our teeth. You can prevent yellowing teeth stained by coffee by employing a few of the simple tips I spoke about today.
Try one or more of the following:
- Drink your coffee through a straw
- Rinse your mouth with water frequently
- Dedicate yourself to better oral hygiene
- Mix your coffee with full-fat milk
- Skip other foods and drinks that stain teeth
- Change up the kind of coffee you drink
- Start cold brewing your own coffee
- Incorporate a few all-natural whitening methods into your routine
How many cups of coffee per day do you drink?
How do you keep your smile bright?
Please give an update if you try any of these tips, and share your results with other readers.