How does coffee stain your teeth?
Before we delve into the ways at which coffee stains can be removed from your teeth, we should first understand the cause. The biggest culprits are tannins, and they are commonly found in drinks like coffee. Tannins are a type of polyphenol which breaks down in water, releasing coloured substances that stick to the rough surfaces of your teeth. This will cause yellow or brown discolouration and the stains are more likely to stick especially with the presence of plaque on your teeth surfaces.
How do I remove coffee stains from teeth?
The great news is that these coffee stains are mostly external and temporary. Rest assured that you do not have to steer away from coffee, especially if you are a heavy coffee drinker. There are some ways that you can try to maintain a bright and shiny appearance of your teeth.
1. Duration of drinking coffee
Have your cup of coffee or caffeine fix in one sitting rather than to sip it throughout the day. As a good practice, take sips of water in between sips of your coffee if you have to take it over a prolonged period, otherwise, it would be good to rinse with water after you finished your drink. Brushing your teeth after helps too, but make sure to do so only half an hour later so that the acids are neutralised. If not, you might be spreading the acid from your coffee all over your teeth causing acidic erosion. This will inadvertently remove the enamel layer, which exposes the internal dentine layer. Dentine is yellow and that can in turn cause more discolouration.
2. Avoid direct contact with coffee
Consider using a straw which can help prevent coffee from having direct contact with your teeth, especially when drinking iced coffee. This will reduce the amount your teeth is exposed to, thus eliminating the risk of stains
A good oral hygiene routine is important, particularly when consuming a few cups of coffee, a day. As usual, brush your teeth at least twice a day and consider rinsing and/or brushing after finishing a cup of coffee as well. As mentioned earlier, do wait 30 minutes after your last cup before brushing. You can use a whitening toothpaste to help remove coffee stains but proceed with caution. This is because such toothpastes contain abrasive particles. Overuse or use with a hard bristle can result in avoidable loss of the external tooth layer through attrition causing teeth to appear darker.
One habit to add into your oral routine, if you have not done so, is to floss every night. This prevents the accumulation of calculus which is hardened plaque. It tends to gather in the gaps between teeth and along gum lines and can absorb stains easily.
5. Regular dental visits
However, just brushing and flossing may not be sufficient, dental visits every 6 months to have a professional dental cleaning done is equally important. For instance, calculus can only be removed by professional tools safely and polishing can remove all the stains caused by coffee.
6. Teeth whitening
This is perhaps one of the more effective ways of removing coffee stains. A teeth whitening procedure is very safe and non-invasive as the teeth whitening gel is of neutral pH and does not damage the tooth structure. There are three types of teeth whitening procedures: in-clinic/chairside whitening, take-home kits from dental clinics and over-the-counter whitening products. However, over-the-counter whitening products are significantly less effective than the other two options. Do seek a dentist’s opinion on the other two options and how best to proceed with teeth whitening.
For guidance or booking an appointment for a teeth whitening procedure, contact us at 1728 Dental via
1728 Dental@AMK: +65 9631 1728
1728 Dental@Jurong East: +65 9770 1728
1728 Dental@Tampines: +65 9725 1728
Can you still drink coffee?
Yes definitely! Even if coffee can cause yellowing to our pearly white teeth, as long as you take the necessary steps after, especially when equipped with the above knowledge to maintain your teeth, you can enjoy the drink to the fullest.