Baking soda and water or peroxide make a great paste to scrub off coffee stains teeth. Other healthy options include fiber-rich veggies and fruits, or rinsing with water right after you drink your coffee. And above all, don’t forget how important brushing your teeth twice a day is.
How coffee stains teeth
Let’s face it, we love coffee. Every day Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee – that’s right, daily!- and over half of all adult Americans love to start their day with coffee. And this is not just straight coffee that we consume – we love specialty drinks. Over 30 million Americans have cappuccinos, frozen coffee blended beverages, mochas, and lattes. All that coffee leads to stains on our teeth. Ever wonder how coffee stains teeth? And how to clean those stains off? Let’s take a few moments to learn more about coffee and how to remove coffee stains from teeth.
Your tooth enamel actually has little tiny bumps and ridges on the surface, and those can hold onto small particles of food – or components of your beverages. Drinks like grape juice, red wine, caramel-colored sodas, tea, and coffee all have substances called tannins in them. Those tannins have pigmentation that can stick to your teeth in those ridges and they also attract other colored pigments, reducing the natural whiteness of your teeth. And those pigments are what stain your teeth. Tea in fact has even been used as a fabric dye to give cotton and linen a nice earthy tan color.
How to clean coffee stains on teeth
Coffee drinkers may want to find ways to lighten and brighten their teeth. There are a number of teeth whitening products on the market today to remove stains on your teeth, and most are easily available at the grocery store or pharmacy. There are whitening toothpastes, whitening dental rinses, and teeth whitening strips that come with a mild peroxide that helps bubble out stains. All of these products take a few days to work so you won’t see immediate results, but given time you will.
There are also tooth whitening trays that you fill with gel or liquid packs and set on your teeth, or there are pens or brushes that you can use that apply a whitening product to your teeth. Look for the ADA or American Dental Association seal of approval to ensure that what you purchase has been thoroughly tested and proven to be safe.
Because of the peroxide in these products like the teeth whitening kit, you may experience some tooth sensitivity, and you may also discover that your gums either lighten or experience some sensitivity as well.
Regular use of whitening toothpaste and brushing twice a day will help reduce stains in general. They contain mild substances like baking soda to help polish the teeth and may contain hydrogen peroxide that helps bubble out stains as the dental strips do.
You can also visit your dentist and get professional teeth whitening treatment to remove coffee stains from teeth. This teeth whitening treatment will take up to an hour in the dentist’s office during which time you will have a substance applied to your teeth that is a stronger peroxide formula than what you can find in stores. They may even use a light to help speed up the process. These treatments can lighten your teeth by several shades, depending on how stained they were, to begin with. Some dentists run teeth whitening specials for new patients, but you should know very few insurance plans cover this procedure.
Your dentist may be able to prescribe a teeth whitening kit that you can use at home. This will be more expensive than the ones you can buy over the counter, but they will also have more lasting effects.
Even the dental cleanings you receive every six months for your overall oral hygiene help to reduce the number of stains on your teeth. They can use an abrasive polish to help get off surface stains, and they use either dental tools or an ultrasonic cleaner to remove plaque and tartar from between the teeth, so this process also helps remove the coffee stains.
How to prevent coffee from staining teeth
Avoiding foods and beverages that stain teeth is one way to ensure that they do not get further stained. This includes tea, wine, sports drinks, and sodas with dyes in them, and of course coffee since we know those coffee stains teeth. It would be unrealistic for us all to give up our main addiction in order to keep our teeth from getting stained, so what can we do to help prevent coffee stains?
- You might think that if you add cream or milk to your coffee that would reduce the amount of stain. It seems logical since it is a lighter color than straight coffee, but you are still drinking the cup of coffee which still has all the same amount of tooth staining tannins. So unless you are drinking what the French call café au lait which is roughly half coffee and half steamed milk, you aren’t actually avoiding staining your teeth.
- One good way to reduce coffee stains is to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth about 30 minutes after finishing your coffee to help swish off those tannins and keep them from setting into the stain. If you find that using a manual toothbrush is not doing enough, you can switch to an electric one. These come with a rotating head that is able to do more work in less time than you are able to with a manual brush. When brushing, you should spend about two minutes total or about 30 seconds in each quarter section of your mouth.
- The reason you want to wait about 30 minutes after drinking coffee before you brush is to allow for the acids in the coffee to be flushed away by saliva. Brushing immediately can actually damage your tooth enamel more.
- Even just following your cup of coffee with a water chaser can help remove the substances that lead to stains. Just remember that this should be straight water, and not other staining beverages like red wine, sodas, or teas.
- You can also chew gum after you drink your coffee. This act not only chews off surface items that might lead to coffee stains teeth, but the increased saliva production helps flush out food particles faster.
- Brushing and flossing daily can also do a lot to help prevent stains from setting in. You can supplement your regular brushing routine with baking soda. Even just using it once a week can help reduce the number of stains on your teeth. It is a very gentle abrasive that is safe to use on a regular basis. Use about a tablespoon of baking soda and enough water or hydrogen peroxide to create a paste that you can brush on your teeth with your toothbrush. Be sure to rinse well when you are done.
- Drink your beverages with a straw to help bypass the teeth and keep the tannins from discoloring them. This is obviously easier with a cold coffee than a hot one.
- If you are able to try this and still enjoy your coffee, try skipping the sugar. Sugar is the favorite food of dental bacteria that love to feed on sugars and create acids that can damage the enamel. Damaged tooth enamel is more prone to stains as well as breakage.
- You can also try switching up your afternoon routine to include green tea instead of coffee. You will get a more gentle caffeine lift, and avoid the dark tannins that can stain teeth.
- Consuming fruits and vegetables that contain a good amount of fiber is also good for your teeth. It helps flush away that staining bacteria as well as provide a bit of abrasion on the teeth to brush off any surface stains. Some fruits like blackberries or strawberries, and foods like tomato sauce can also lead to tooth staining, so even if you get the coffee stain off, you might be adding a different one.
- If you can find slightly dry foods, it will help increase saliva production and thus add to the flushing away of stains, plus it will slow down the bacteria in the mouth.
Coffee drinkers take heart! There are several home remedies that will help get the coffee stains teeth removed. The best treatment is still to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and professional teeth whitening procedure. That said, there are several home remedies you can use that will turn back the tide of teeth staining. Baking soda is the best as part of a good home oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing once. You can also purchase tooth whitening kits at the store that will help remove stains and leave you with a brighter smile. They come either in teeth whitening strips or trays with liquid packs of gel. A good diet with crunchy foods can also help, as can rinsing with plain water after you have your coffee. So you see, you don’t need to avoid your morning cup to keep a great smile.
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