But there’s one bad thing about it…the leftover coffee teeth stains it leaves behind.
You know what I’m talking about. Coffee teeth stains tend to either be an overall darkness on your teeth or isolated specks of black or brown stain. You’ll notice it the most on the teeth closest to where you’re sipping from your coffee cup: the front ones. Make sure to drink iced coffee with a straw to prevent the streak of coffee on your front teeth.
Our teeth are naturally porous. They’re covered in thousands of tiny little holes (“tubules”) that house nerve tissues. As a result, those tiny tubules gradually tend to collect bacteria and stain particles from the foods and drinks that we consume. Darker foods = more stain. More stain = darker teeth. And since liquids can easily flow just about anywhere, they tend to stain your teeth more than chewing something like blueberries or a dish with curry in it. Plus, coffee lovers just tend to consume coffee on a consistent basis.
Coffee is something that – if you drink it – most people consume every single day and up to a few times a day. And since it’s such a dark liquid, coffee stains teeth over time.
On the other hand, intrinsic stains are those that have soaked into the tubules and overall tooth enamel, making them “inside” stains (so to speak.) Intrinsic stains can also form while your teeth are developing, as a result of anatomical changes or excess minerals in your diet. When coffee stains are still extrinsic, they’re easier to clean off. But intrinsic stains are harder to get rid of.
For simplicity’s sake, we’ll talk about the most effective methods for reducing and eliminating extrinsic tooth stain, since it’s something you can do on your own.
Scheduling regular professional dental cleanings with your dental hygienist is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of coffee stains on your teeth. The hygienist has a powered polishing tool that can quickly buff away surface stains in a matter of seconds. And for tedious ones, they may even use an air polisher (which is a bit more like a power washer that uses tiny particles of polishing powder) to help your teeth look whiter. Plus, there’s the fact that plaque and tartar also absorb coffee stains.
Getting that buildup cleaned off at least every six months doesn’t just help with the way your smile looks, but it also boosts your oral health and gives you fresher breath. And if it turns out that you have heavy intrinsic staining after your cleaning, your dentist can talk to you about more “heavy-duty” whitening options that are available.
Disclaimer: This is NOT something you want to do on a regular basis. In fact, it should be done sparingly and only at the direction of your dentist.
Baking soda is abrasive; as such, it can buff away tooth stains. But used too much, it can also do damage to your teeth and gums. And hydrogen peroxide is a natural whitener. It’s even an important ingredient in teeth whitening systems.
When used here and there, they can help with managing chronic tooth staining. But please, don’t use them more than 1-2 times a month, tops. If you want to know why, Google “black hairy tongue”, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
A teeth whitening toothpaste is one that’s better for preventing new stain buildup. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, this is a staple you’ll want to keep on hand. Used regularly, whitening toothpaste helps disrupt and prevent new stain accumulation. That way your teeth stay the same level of white or even better. But be warned, it could make your teeth sensitive. Use it as directed or alternate it with a sensitivity toothpaste to minimize any unwanted irritation.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products contain a modest amount of bleaching gel to help remove coffee stains and brighten your teeth. These types of products do help with intrinsic (internal) tooth stain to a degree. If you have heavier stain levels or have been drinking coffee for years, an actual whitening gel, strip, or tray can take your smile to the next level. BURST’s Coconut Whitening Strips, are great and you can shape to the curves of your teeth. Take note to keep it off of your gums, as it could lead to irritation. You can also opt for professional teeth whitening treatments, which work wonderfully but come at a higher cost.
Powered rotary or sonic toothbrushes naturally give you more strokes per second than you would get brushing with a manual toothbrush. When you use them on a routine basis, you’ll see better plaque removal and stain prevention. Some toothbrushes – like BURST – even have built-in “whitening” modes that you can use after brushing! Simply use it on one or two teeth at a time to help your smile look whiter from enhanced stain removal.
If you really want to go overboard, you can sip your coffee through a straw. Yeah, it’s not popular, and people might even think you’re weird, but it physically prevents the dark liquid from coming into contact with the front of your teeth.
Whitening toothpastes can also help reduce staining on a daily basis, but be careful not to go overboard with whitening products because they can lead to tooth sensitivity.
As with coffee consumption, you can reduce your amount of stain buildup by rinsing with water and brushing your teeth regularly.
As much as we love caffeine, coffee teeth stains are a bad side effect. The natural pores of our tooth enamel allow stain buildup to accumulate over time, especially for people who are heavy coffee drinkers. By scheduling regular cleanings at your dentist’s office, cleaning your teeth thoroughly each day, and using DIY tooth stain prevention tactics, you can successfully keep your smile whiter, longer. For heavier tooth stain woes, speak to your dentist about a professional whitening system.
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