If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’re probably no stranger to the idea that coffee stains your teeth. But if you haven’t seen the effect on your teeth for yourself, you may start to wonder if it’s just a rumor or doesn’t have as drastic of an effect that you were led to believe. So does coffee really stain your teeth?
The answer is short and simple: yes. It happens very gradually, but coffee does contribute to making those pearly whites look a bit more yellow over time.
The stains from drinking coffee aren’t entirely the coffee’s fault, since the actual structure of your teeth comes into play as well. While your teeth look like they’re solid on the outside, they are actually porous, with tiny ridges and pits in them that you can’t see with the naked eye. These areas are also where things like food particles, bacteria, and plaque are caught on your teeth before you clear them away when you brush your teeth. With coffee, it has a pigment that gives it that dark black or brown coloration, and this pigment can also get caught in those same pits and ridges, becoming embedded in the teeth and manifesting as discoloration. While the stains may be on the surface of the teeth to start out, they can become permanent if not removed.
If you want to avoid that “coffee smile” and keep your teeth looking more white than yellow, here are a few options you have in either preventing or fixing those teeth stains!
One of the easiest ways that you can prevent staining on your teeth is by cutting back on the amount of coffee that you drink on a regular basis. If you’re really gung ho about keeping your teeth white, you can even choose to avoid drinking coffee altogether. This method boils down to one simple fact: the less coffee you drink, the less your teeth get exposed to pigment and staining. Just don’t make your alternative drinking tea, since tea is even worse when it comes to teeth stains.
The pigment that sticks to your teeth is just like any other food particle or bacteria from other foods and drinks, which means it can be cleared away fairly easily by brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. By timing when you take your coffee breaks around a meal, for example, you can soon after following up that cup of coffee with your normal oral hygiene routine to make sure those stains never have a chance to settle. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will also help since the water will wash away a decent amount of pigment and food particles.
Having a consistent oral hygiene routine at home is essential, but so is going to your regularly scheduled appointments with us at Picasso Smiles for deeper cleaning. Even with brushing, flossing, and rinsing religiously, you can still end up with some minor plaque buildup that we will clear away to leave you with a perfectly clean smile.
If you already have some noticeable coffee stains on your teeth, regular cleaning may not be enough, but our professional teeth whitening treatment will certainly do the trick. We utilize the Zoom! teeth whitening system which uses a high-strength hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that, when activated with a special laser, penetrates your tooth enamel to lift deep stains and get rid of discoloration.
If you have any questions about preventing or fixing coffee stains on your teeth, other foods that can stain your teeth, or our teeth whitening service, just contact your local El Paso dentist office and we’ll be more than happy to help you. If you want a whiter, brighter smile, just schedule an appointment with us here at our dental office in El Paso, TX. We look forward to meeting you, and helping you achieve a smile that’s free of stains!