Every day, millions of people around the world start their day with a cup of coffee and may even grab a cup to get through the mid-afternoon slump. However, it’s important to note that coffee contains tannins, which have been proven to stain teeth and make your smile seem dull.
The good news is, at Arlington Dental Excellence, we offer several cosmetic procedures that can help combat stains due to coffee and other colored foods and beverages. In this article, we’ll explain why coffee stains your teeth, as well as the cosmetic procedures we offer.
Why Does Coffee Stain Teeth?
Coffee contains an organic substance known as tannins, which add to the dry mouthfeel and bitter flavor. While tannins are antioxidants and therefore have some health benefits, they are also the primary reason that coffee stains your teeth.
The outer layer of your teeth is enamel, which is one of the strongest materials in the human body. However, it contains tiny pores which allow the tannins to get into your teeth and cause staining. Additionally, since coffee is acidic, it may also cause the enamel to wear away over time, which can cause additional staining.
Other beverages, such as black tea and red wine contain tooth-staining tannins.
However, since coffee isn’t as acidic as some fruit juices and soft drinks, it’s not the worst morning beverage you can choose. It does contain high levels of antioxidants, which provide a variety of advantages including maintaining healthy teeth and preventing gum disease.
Cosmetic Procedures to Treat Tooth Stains
The good news is, at Arlington Dental Excellence, we can restore your picture-perfect, white smile with the following procedures:
Professional, in-office whitening is the process of using certain chemicals along with a curing light to remove stains.
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a white resin is applied to the teeth and hardened with a curing light. The light activates the resin to bond it to the tooth, improving the color and structure of the tooth.
Dental crowns are used to restore the structure of teeth that are badly damaged or decayed. The crown can be matched to your natural teeth. However, it is important to note that crowns will not whiten like natural teeth. Therefore, it’s necessary to have any whitening done prior to having a crown placed.
Dental veneers are custom-made shells that are placed on the front surface of the tooth to improve the color and shape of the teeth. Veneers may be made of porcelain or composite resin. If you do choose veneers, the dentist will have you be careful with them to avoid damage.
Tips for Preventing Stains from Coffee
There are a few things you can do at home to reduce staining from coffee:
Have a snack with your coffee
When you eat, your saliva is activated. By having a snack with your coffee, your saliva may help to wash away the tannins. Foods like apples, celery, cucumbers, or pears are ideal because as you eat them, they help clean your teeth.
Brush/Floss after drinking coffee
The simplest way to avoid staining your teeth is to brush and floss immediately after consuming your coffee. This will also remove plaque and other bacteria that are known to cause decay and discoloration.
Rinse if you can’t brush
In some cases, you may not be able to brush your teeth. In this case, swish some water around in your mouth. This is a simple, effective way to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Use a straw
The best way to prevent the coffee from contacting your teeth is by using a straw.
Drink water with your coffee
You can reduce the amount of time your teeth are in contact with coffee by drinking a glass of water at the same time. As you drink your coffee, take a sip of water every so often. This will also help remove sugar from your teeth to prevent plaque buildup if you drink a sweet coffee drink.
Many coffee lovers prefer to linger over their coffee for an extended period of time. This is a bad idea if you are trying to keep your teeth white. The less time teeth spend in contact with coffee, the better.
Adding cream doesn’t help
Many people add milk or cream to lighten the color of their coffee because they believe this can prevent staining. The truth is, tannin content is not reduced by the addition of cream/milk and adding cream/milk increases the sugar content.