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How To Prevent Coffee Stains On Teeth

Updated: Jan 16

staining all over teeth
staining all over teeth

Here are 8 ways to prevent coffee from staining your teeth

Drink a cup of water afterwards

Drinking some water after coffee will help rinse off any staining residue that may be left around your teeth. Coffee also tends to dry out your mouth so the extra water will prevent dry mouth. Plaque and tartar tends to form more easily in a dry environment as well. Aside from staining your teeth, the tartar will also pick up coffee stains.

Dilute your coffee with milk or water

If you add some milk or even water, it will dilute the color of your beverage which helps it become less staining. Remember if it can stain your white rug, it can stain your white teeth. Making the beverage less colorful will decrease it's staining capabilities.

Drink coffee through a straw

Drinking through a straw will prevent the caffeinated beverage from touching your teeth. Stains on teeth happen based on physical contact so if you remove the contact, the chances will decrease. Of course, coffee residue in your mouth may still touch your tooth enamel.

Don't sip your coffee over a long period of time

Despite what you may think, drinking your coffee quickly can help decrease the external stains on your teeth. This works because the stains have less time to work on your teeth. It takes time for your teeth to discolor. So, if you are one of those people who carry a thermostat to keep sipping your coffee throughout the day, you may be out of luck!

Brush and floss 30 minutes after drinking coffee

Do not brush immediately after drinking coffee because it is acidic and it leaves your teeth in a softened state. When the pH in your mouth is at an acidic level, your enamel is actually weakened.

You don't want to be brushing away at your tooth enamel. Wait 30 minutes for your mouth to naturally buffer it back up to normal before proceeding to brush and floss. Maintaining a good oral hygiene will prevent staining because there will be less plaque and tartar to pick up stains.

Get a professional teeth cleaning every 6 months

Don't forget to visit your favorite LIC dentist to get your dental cleaning. Your dentist can remove all of the extrinsic stains as well as any tartar that has picked up staining as well. Sometimes the tartar can turn into black tartar or even orange plaque. They pick up stains from more than just coffee so remember to get your teeth cleaned.

Drink less coffee

The average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, so this isn't the answer many want to hear. But if you simply cut back on the amount of coffee you drink, it would stain your teeth less. The quantity and frequency of the caffeinated beverage consumption have a direct correlation with enamel staining.

If you need a reason to decrease coffee consumption, a study has shown that it can increase the levels of cafestol and that leads to increased incidences of coronary heart disease.

Take caffeine pills as an alternative to coffee

If you need the caffeine as a pick me up in the morning or simply just to function throughout the day, you can replace the staining beverage with caffeine pills. The pills don't have any coloring and it'll barely make any contact with your enamel.

Those are eight ways on how to minimize the coffee stains on your teeth.

Does coffee permanently stain your teeth?

Thankfully, it does not leave a permanent stain. Your dentist will be able to get rid of the stain with a teeth cleaning but if you want them even whiter, you can get a professional teeth whitening to really make it shine.

staining on back of teeth
staining on back of teeth

It always helps if you maintain a good oral hygiene regime at home and use a whitening toothpaste to help decrease the amount of staining so you don't have to visit the dentist as often. If you drink a lot of coffee, you may require more than the twice a year dental check up.

How long does it take for coffee to stain your teeth?

It does not discolor your teeth from drinking just one cup of coffee but rather from consistently drinking coffee everyday. You will slowly notice your teeth turn a little bit more yellow and brown each day.

Typically, most people can tolerate the discoloration for up to 4-6 months. Then at that point, they just have to make an appointment for a dental cleaning to get rid of the stain.

Will your teeth get whiter if you stop drinking coffee?

Your teeth won't get whiter from stopping but at least it won't get more yellow. The only way to get your teeth whiter would be to do teeth whitening. Drinking coffee through a straw and also adding milk to it will help minimize the amount of staining. Nonetheless, the best way to prevent coffee stains on your teeth would be to stop drinking it.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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