It’s no secret that coffee can stain your teeth. Coffee contains a significant amount of chromogens, which are chemical compounds that easily mix with colors and pigments and stick to your enamel causing stains. It is also acidic in nature, making it a culprit of enamel erosion as well. But for all its drawbacks on teeth, there are a lot of benefits to drinking coffee. Coffee consumption can lower the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease, while also reducing pain and lowering the risk of depression.
Coffee, it appears, is a double-edged sword. Fortunately, there are ways you can safely consume coffee without risking stains and damage to your teeth. Below we’ll explore five ways that can reduce the risk of stained teeth from coffee consumption.
Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth twice a day is an absolute necessity if you drink coffee. You should brush your teeth twice a day regardless, but it’s even more important to do so if your regularly drink coffee. To further reduce the possibility of stains, wait to brush until after you’ve finished your coffee, if possible.
Use A Straw
It may seem silly, but using a straw to drink your coffee can significantly reduce the chances of teeth stained from coffee. Straws help the coffee bypass contact with your front teeth, which is where the most visible stains are often located. Consider using a straw next time to reduce the amount of contact your teeth have with your favorite caffeinated beverage.
Drink Water After
If you drink coffee and don’t have a toothbrush on hand, drink water immediately afterward. Water is the second best thing to a toothbrush, as it helps remove surface materials like plaque and chemical compounds off of teeth. Put simply, drink more water.
Sip Your Coffee
Due to coffee’s high content of chromogens, acids and tannins, it can cause permanent stains on teeth if your teeth are exposed to it frequently. If a straw isn’t readily available, be sure to sip coffee rather than swishing it around in your mouth. Swishing it will allow the compounds in coffee to stick to your teeth and create stains.
Drink It Black
Many people can’t stand the taste of black coffee, but learning to love it may benefit your teeth down the line. Sugar and cream are secret culprits in coffee that can also harm teeth, as sugars can not only stain teeth but lead to decay as well.
The Final Word
You don’t have to give up coffee in order to protect your teeth. However, you do have to be cautious about how you consume coffee and take the precautions necessary to shield your teeth from compounds that stain teeth. We all want the benefits of coffee, we just don’t like the staining and yellowing that comes with it, so be sure to stay on top of dental hygiene habits and drink your coffee in ways the minimize its contact with your teeth.