coffee cup with ekg readoutCoffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world. On an average around 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. This has made coffee the second most traded commodity in the world. We’re pretty sure you get the picture that the love for coffee is immense.

However, like all good things, coffee too is not without its flaws. And for those who take their oral hygiene quite seriously, this is a big one. Frequent use of coffee stains your teeth. Yes, unfortunately that’s a fact.

How coffee stains your teeth?

While the surface of your teeth might look smooth, it is not. The enamel covering the outside of the tooth might be one of the hardest substances on the planet but it is made up of crystal like rods which have small pits in certain places. Particles from dark colored drinks like coffee can become embedded in these pores leaving a yellowish tinge after a certain amount of time.

Any plaque left over from inappropriate brushing is also a factor that traps particles from coffee and contributes towards staining. This type of staining is called extrinsic because it is only on the outside but if left unattended, it can eventually become intrinsic by seeping into the enamel. This means that it becomes extremely difficult to remove even after consistent brushing. So, while coffee tastes great and helps keep you going throughout the day, it slowly damages your teeth.

Some of you might be wondering that regular brushing can prevent these stains. To some extent you might be right but the pits on the surface of the teeth are microscopic and the particles that become embedded in them can be quite difficult to remove.

How to prevent coffee from staining your teeth?

There are a number of ways in which the coffee stains can be controlled and minimized. Giving up coffee altogether might be the most effective but quite frankly for the most of us that is impossible. So, some of other more practical solutions are listed below:

  1. Change the way you drink: Consuming your daily intake of coffee with sufficient breaks throughout the day is an effective way to reduce coffee stains on your teeth. Rather than lingering with a single cup and sipping at it for hours, you can consume your cup quickly and then wait a certain amount of time for the next one.
  2. Use a straw: Yes, it might sound weird but if you value oral hygiene, this is one sacrifice that you’ll have to make. Drinking from the cup exposes the enamel to direct contact with the coffee but a straw ensure that the drink goes closer to your throat with minimal contact between it and your teeth. Brush and floss regularly: Try to brush after every cup of coffee that you consume. This can help minimize the amount of extrinsic damage that plaque and coffee might cause to your teeth. In case the residues from your coffee stay in the oral cavity for longer, you’ll be looking at a yellowish smile in the mirror quite soon.

Many sources hint that adding milk or whitener to your coffee dilutes the amount of stains that it leaves but unfortunately this recommendation doesn’t hold any ground. Coffee contains the same acids and ingredients whether it is black or with milk added to it. Unless you considerably dilute the amount of coffee with milk, it has no profound impact on the staining properties of it.

We know that for a lot of us coffee is an essential part of everyday life but so is our smile. Small tweaks here and there can effectively reduce the damage caused to your oral cavity and ensure longer lasting pearly whites.

For more information on Huntsville Family Dentistry, get in touch with us a Complete Dental today.