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Prevent Coffee From Staining Your Teeth

Coffee can stain your teeth over time due to its dark pigments and acidic nature, which can adhere to the tooth enamel – DSCENE Beauty Editors investigate how to prevent coffee from staining your teeth

Photo ©Takahiro Ogawa for DSCENE

Coffee can stain your teeth, and I am certain most of us drinking it are already aware of the consequences. Yet while our beloved beverage, unfortunately, comes with a downside there are a few ways to fight the staining.

Over time, the dark pigments and tannins in coffee can adhere to tooth enamel, leading to noticeable discoloration. Thankfully, there are several ways to enjoy your favourite cup without sacrificing your bright smile. I myself have gone through recent dental whitening treatment and had to battle myself from having coffee during the process. So here I have few tips I found best to minimize or hopefully stop these coffee stains:

Drink Through a Straw: By sipping coffee through a straw, you can bypass your teeth to some extent, reducing their exposure to coffee. By directing the coffee to the back of your mouth, you can bypass your teeth and reduce their exposure to the staining compounds in coffee. Those reusable glass straws at home finally came in handy. These method was also advice by my personal dentist.

Photo ©Takahiro Ogawa for DSCENE

Rinse Your Mouth: After drinking coffee, rinsing your mouth with water can help wash away the staining compounds. However with coffee it is often the key to do it right after drinking the same. If you are not able to go to the bathroom and brush your teeth, try having a glass of water to rinse at least part of the coffee stain.

That said, regular oral hygiene is the key to preventing coffee stains. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day helps keep your teeth clean and reduces the likelihood of staining.

Use Whitening Toothpaste: In my personal experience some toothpaste products are specially formulated to help remove or reduce stains. Look for one that has been proven to be effective against coffee stains. These process tho is a long one, and it can take weeks or months to see the actual results. Or at least you are under impression of seeing them?

Photo ©Takahiro Ogawa for DSCENE

Drink Coffee with Milk: Adding milk to your coffee can change the beverage’s chemistry and may reduce its staining ability. The proteins in milk can bind to the tannins in coffee (which contribute to the staining) and prevent them from adhering to your teeth. This is however not to entirely prevent the staining of your teeth.

Avoid Drinking Coffee Over Extended Periods: Sipping on coffee throughout the day gives it more time to stain your teeth. Try to consume it within a set time rather than sipping it slowly over many hours.

Dental Whitening Treatments & Professional Cleaning: Regular dental cleanings can remove some staining. Not only is it pivotal to the same due to plaque on your teeth, but also the same cleanings will remove some of the coffee staining on your teeth.

If staining has already occurred, you may want to consider professional whitening treatments. Over-the-counter whitening products can also be effective but discuss these with your dentist to find the right product for you.

Staining Your Teeth
Photo ©Takahiro Ogawa for DSCENE

Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Chewing on crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots can help scrub away stains as well and help you maintain the perfect white teeth. They stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans the teeth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots can act as natural scrubbers for your teeth. Eating these foods after having coffee can help to scrub away potential stains. They also stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans the teeth and neutralizes acids that can contribute to staining. In my personal experience I am not certain this has helped, but it is no doubt highly recommended if it doesn’t help prevent staining at least it is quite healthy for your gut.

Drink Coffee with Fewer Staining Agents: Lighter roasts and high-quality Arabica beans often contain fewer tannins, which are the major staining compounds in coffee. Experiment with different variants of coffee to find one that may stain less. In my experience, even though I drink coffee for years I have noticed the change once I got a coffee machine at home and in the office. While beforehand I drank only Turkish coffee, prepared in a traditional way, after switching to coffee from a home coffee machine my teeth started staining much faster.

Staining Your Teeth
Photo ©Takahiro Ogawa for DSCENE

Avoid Smoking: I myself am not a smoker, yet needless to say smoking can compound the staining effects of coffee. If you are concerned about staining, it might be wise to avoid tobacco products.

While coffee may stain the teeth, it’s not a fate that coffee lovers must simply accept, however while I did take a bunch of the practices above to my daily routine the end of the day solution was heading out for a proper dental whitening procedure.

Whether you choose to adjust how you drink your coffee, change the type of coffee you consume, or invest in professional dental treatments, hopefully some of the tips above can help keep your smile bright and stain-free.

All the images from Give Yourself A Big Hug, captured by New York based photographer Takahiro Ogawa for DSCENE Love issue – discover the full story


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