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Are you one of the many people who can’t imagine starting their day without a cup of coffee? This extremely popular beverage has so many benefits, including giving us a much-needed boost of energy to help us make it through our long days. If you are a coffee lover, then you will be happy to hear that coffee can help to improve your cardiovascular health. It can also help to boost your liver function, cleanse your stomach and is also rich in antioxidants. Wow! With so many benefits, how can there be a downside?

But did you know that coffee may be harmful to your teeth? We answered some of the most common questions we get asked at our practices.

Does Black Coffee Stain Teeth?

There is no sugar-coating this: yes, black coffee will stain your teeth. Coffee contains tannins, which are a type of polyphenol (these are micronutrients found in plant-based foods) that break down in water. Tannins cause colour compounds to stick to your teeth, which can leave an unwanted yellow colour behind. There are ways to prevent staining, including limiting food and beverages that include tannins. Alternatively, there are dental options such as Ethos Brite which is an at-home whitening treatment.

Other foods and beverages that stain teeth

Unfortunately coffee isn’t the only beverage or food that can give you unwanted stains. To maintain a white smile, limit or avoid the following:

  • Red wine,
  • Black tea,
  • Dark-coloured juices,
  • Soft drinks,
  • Berries,
  • Beetroot
  • Tomatoes Sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar, and
  • Soy Sauce

Does Black Coffee Cause Cavities?

Unfortunately, there is some truth to this. Coffee can be a very acidic drink, especially if you love your black coffee. So it goes without saying, that if you are a daily drinker of coffee, it can lead to enamel erosion, causing your teeth to become more thin and brittle.

It’s important to note that coffee stains don’t directly erode enamel (the tooth’s protective layer). Substances high in acidity are more prone to weaken the enamel of your teeth, and as the enamel wears away, this can cause a yellowish discolouration. Our tooth enamel is responsible for protecting our teeth against decay, so it is important to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth after having a coffee to prevent any further damage.

How Can I Drink Coffee Without Staining My Teeth?

The good news is, you don’t have to stop drinking black coffee to avoid brown stains on your teeth. Once stains have started to develop, they can be difficult to remove. The best way to deal with coffee stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

  • Add some milk to your coffee. The colour of your coffee determines how deeply it stains your teeth. When you add milk to your coffee, it lightens the colour of the beverage, providing your teeth with protection from the staining acids in the coffee.
  • Change how you drink coffee. Coffee cannot stain your teeth if it never actually touches your teeth. Drinking coffee through a straw is a good way to drink coffee without it touching your teeth. Although it might feel strange at first, it’s one of the best ways to prevent staining on your teeth without needing to give up your morning coffee
  • Limit your consumption. Try to limit how much coffee you drink, or try alternative drinks. For example, substitute your morning coffee with a cup of herbal tea or hot flavoured water.
  • Eat crunchy fruit and veg. Fruit and vegetables like apples, carrot and celery boost saliva production and scrub your teeth acting as natural stain removers.
  • Use a better toothbrush. When it comes to removing remaining residue or plaque from your teeth, electric toothbrushes are more effective than regular brushes, but remember, as coffee is acidic and tends to soften the tooth enamel, you need to wait at least 15 minutes after drinking coffee before brushing to allow the enamel time to re-harden.

How Can I Get Rid Of Stains On My Teeth?

We have a few tips and tricks for getting rid of stained teeth:

  • Brush your teeth: Brush regularly using a whitening toothpaste will help to maintain a bright and healthy smile. Whitening toothpaste is safe for daily use and contain chemicals and polishing agents that help to remove stains on the surface of your teeth.
  • Don’t forget to floss: Plaque and tartar can build up where the toothbrush cannot reach. They will not only attract more bacteria into your mouth but also attract more stains and yellowish spots between teeth and near the gum line.
  • Professional Cleanings: Book regular appointments with your dentist for professional cleaning. This can help remove surface stains that are caused by drinking coffee and it’s also essential to keep your overall oral health.
  • Teeth-whitening treatments: These professional treatments remove stains and discolouration from your teeth and enhance the look of your smile in an effective way. One of the biggest misconceptions about teeth whitening is that it damages tooth enamel and increases sensitivity to hot and cold foods. However, this is not the case. Stains are caused by the food and beverages you consume. Those foods haven’t caused irreparable damage. Teeth whitening is simply reversing the effects of the stains.

So if you’re a coffee-lover, don’t panic. Speak with your local Ethos Orthodontist to discuss safe whitening treatments. Ethos offers a professional take-home teeth whitening kit, to help you to say goodbye to your coffee-stained teeth. If you have more questions, please contact us today.