While we may be seeking the fountain of energy through caffeine, don’t forget that one of the most common stains on teeth is caused by coffee. While they may not appear immediately after drinking your first cup of coffee, over time, you may start to see your teeth yellow. Once these stains have started to develop, it can be very difficult to remove them. The best way to deal with coffee stains is to prevent them happening in the first place. Here are five ways to prevent coffee stains on teeth.
The color of your coffee when you actually drink it is going to affect how deeply it stains your teeth. If you add milk to your coffee, it lightens the color of the drink and it actually provides your teeth with protection from the staining acids in the coffee. Milk, if it comes from an animal like a cow, is high in protein that binds to the polyphenols in coffee. Rather than staining your teeth, the polyphenols move on to the stomach, where they can be promptly broken down.
The coffee you drink may not stain your teeth if it never actually touches your pearly whites. If you are drinking from a cup or from a thermos, it’s likely that the coffee is washing over your teeth, predominately the teeth in the front of your mouth. Drinking your coffee through a straw is a great alternative to drink coffee without it ever touching your teeth. When the polyphenols do not have a chance to get near your teeth, they may not create those dark yellow and brown stains that are common among coffee drinkers.
Caffeine is likely the reason that coffee is a part of your morning routine, but it is, ultimately, the amount of caffeine in your coffee that determines how much of staining effect coffee has on your teeth. Decaf or coffee that is less caffeinated is less likely to leave coffee stains on teeth, therefore, if you choose to drink a coffee that has less caffeine than what you usually drink, you can prevent the stains that you may encounter. Why does this work? Because the level of caffeine is directly related to the level of polyphenols in the coffee. Less caffeine, fewer polyphenols, and therefore, less staining.
The best solution to prevent coffee stains on teeth is to remove any remaining coffee residue from your teeth before it has an opportunity to permanently stain your teeth. You can do this by brushing your teeth after drinking coffee. If you do not have the opportunity to do this, you might, instead, at the very least, swish your mouth with a little water. This can help to remove any residue that might be stuck to your teeth if you do not have the time to brush.