A common problem for coffee drinkers is having stained teeth. Once teeth are stained, you can take steps to whiten them, but it can be healthier and easier to prevent staining in the first place. Coffee lovers can still drink coffee, but you can take certain steps to prevent teeth from getting stained. Here are seven tips.
Drink water while and after drinking coffee.
Just like it can rinse off dishes and other dirty surfaces, water can rinse your teeth. It can take a bit of effort to form the habit, but you might consider having a glass or bottle of water nearby when you drink coffee. Having a small sip of water between sips of coffee can rinse your teeth immediately so that the coffee does not stay on your teeth, even if you love savoring your coffee and it takes a while to drink.
Drinking water after drinking coffee can prevent residual coffee from staying on your teeth and causing stronger stains. It is a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking almost anything that is not water.
Drink low-acid coffee.
Coffee is a naturally acidic beverage. Like other acidic foods and beverages, acid in coffee can cause acid erosion, or wear away at the enamel on teeth. Enamel is a protective layer that helps prevent tooth decay. Leaving acid on your teeth and destroying the enamel can harm teeth and increase yellowing. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee is a low-acid brand of coffee.
Reconsider what you add to your coffee.
Different ingredients can affect the yellowing of your teeth from drinking coffee. Cow’s milk may reduce yellowing on teeth due to the proteins in cow’s milk; they may interact with the compounds in coffee that cause stains. Note that some dairy-free milks, such as almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk, are lower in protein and do not have this particular property related to staining teeth. Also, soy milk is high in protein, but it does not have the same types of protein as in milk, and may not be as effective.
On the other hand, while milk may help reduce staining, sugar is known to be bad for teeth. Common sources of sugars that are added to coffee drinks include flavored creamers, flavoring syrups, honey, and sugar. Having these as regular ingredients in your coffee can increase the chances that you will experience tooth decay and staining.
Use a straw.
When you sip your coffee from a mug, sippy cup, or travel mug, the liquid washes over all of your teeth. That increases the area that can be stained. When you use a straw instead, you can control the stream of coffee that goes into your mouth. This can potentially let you prevent the coffee from coming into contact with as much of your mouth.
Drinking hot coffee with a straw may not be possible, since it can burn your mouth. However, a straw can be more practical if you are drinking iced coffee. Using a straw for sweetened coffee beverages can also help prevent sugars from contacting your teeth, which is another benefit for oral health.
Cut back on caffeine.
Many people depend on caffeine every day, often upon waking up, and sometimes for a mid-morning or midday pick-me-up, or to help them get through the afternoon. If this describes you, you do not need to eliminate caffeine. It can be helpful to follow the other precautions as you get your energy boost.
However, it can be a good idea to be aware of your caffeine consumption. Caffeinated coffee has more polyphenols, which are the substances that lead to the staining of your teeth. Decaffeinated coffee is lower in these types of compounds, and may be best for preventing staining. Another compromise is coffee with a lower caffeine content. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee comes in Whole Bean and Fresh Ground versions, including in Regular, Decaf, and Half Caff varieties.
Brush your teeth.
The general recommendation for brushing your teeth is to brush twice a day using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You might be able to reduce the risk of stained teeth from coffee if you brush your teeth after drinking coffee. Wait 20 to 30 minutes after finishing your coffee before you brush, and rinse your mouth with water before you starting brushing your teeth.
Since you may be brushing your teeth frequently if you drink a lot of coffee, be sure to follow recommendations to use a soft toothbrush and to be gentle on your teeth and gums. You do not want to risk wearing away your gums due to brushing too hard.
See a dentist regularly.
Most people should be seeing their dentist or hygienist every four to six months for a professional cleaning. This can help prevent plaque from building up on your teeth. It can also help stop staining before it gets too bad.
Dentists can also inspect your teeth for signs of staining, and make recommendations for whitening treatments. There are treatments that you can do yourself at home to maintain the white color of your teeth. There are also options for treatments that a dentist can do for you in the dental office. Ask your dentist about which may be best for you and how the procedures work.
Shiny white teeth are a nice ideal, but your pearly whites may be threatened if you drink coffee regularly without thinking about it. You can make choices such as rinsing your mouth, choosing a low-acid brand of coffee, such as Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee, and limiting sugars in your coffee.
Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee can also help you limit caffeine content without sacrificing flavor, since it comes in Half Caff and Decaf varieties. They contain the same great blend of coffee beans as our Regular variety, and are available in Fresh Ground and Whole Bean versions so you can make your coffee the way you love to.