Our teeth are protected with a hard outer coating called enamel, which is covered in microscopic gaps. Whenever drink or food particles get stuck in those gaps, this will make the outer layer of your tooth discolored. And the longer those particles remain in the gaps, the more they will affect the enamel of your tooth. When you drink coffee and do nothing to remove it, the stains get worse and worse.
These intrinsic stains are much harder to clean, so it's best to avoid them by using these nine tips:
1. Your first plan of attack is brushing
Plaque accumulation is the biggest cause of tooth stains. So the best way to avoid ugly coffee stains is to brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste as well as visiting your dentist for cleanings. Continue reading to learn about more tricks that will keep your teeth white and shiny in between the dental visits.
2. Don’t forget to floss
If we are honest, it's not easy to floss as often as the dentist want us to. However, spending a couple of minutes each day to floss makes a huge impact on your oral health. We already discussed that plaque attracts stains, well flossing helps us get rid of plaque. You can't remove all the bacteria in your mouth by brushing alone. Whatever brushing leaves can harden and turn into tartar, which can lead to infections.
3. Use a straw
When you use a straw to drink coffee, less liquid will touch your teeth, resulting in fewer coffee stains. The smaller the straw, the better. Most of us do this naturally for iced coffee, but it works just as well for hot coffee too.
4. Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
Did you know that you can make your own teeth whitening paste by mixing a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and a small amount of baking soda? Your dentist uses this to clean your teeth. Make sure the paste is runny, putting too much baking soda will make it too gritty which can damage your enamel.
5. Add milk
Adding a splash of milk into your coffee can make a big difference for your teeth. International Journal of Dental Hygiene published a study that the main protein in milk, casein, can prevent stains by latching onto tannins in tea (particles that leave residue on teeth). In fact, some experts claim that it may work even better than whitening toothpaste.
Because small amounts of tannins are also found in coffee, coffee lovers can also take advantage of these dairy benefits. Use high-fat animal milk for the best results and soy milk won't do the job.
6. Sip water between cups of coffee
By sipping water between cups of coffee, you wash away staining liquids before they can negatively affect your teeth. Although science doesn't show that coffee dehydrates us, taking small sips of water throughout the day is a great way of staying hydrated.
7. Drink coffee quickly
Let's imagine a scenario where you and your coworker come to the office and both make a cup of coffee. You finish your full cup in five minutes, but your coworker like to drink his coffee slowly and it takes him two hours to finish the same amount. Well, you're in luck because your teeth will get stained less.
"Longer exposure of your teeth to coffee will result in your teeth being more stained," says Dr. Ella Dekhtyar, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in Brooklyn, NY. By drinking a glass of water after finishing your coffee, you will wash even more particles away.
8. Swish apple cider vinegar
This tip is somewhat controversial. Although the acid in apple cider vinegar is great at removing stains and whitening your teeth, it can also cause erosion. The risks and benefits will largely depend on the acid concentration, how often a person swishes, and how long he or she swishes for. That is why this method should be used with caution. However, apple cider vinegar has many other benefits for your health.
9. Chew sugar-free gum
There is a way to clean your teeth and cure coffee breath at the same time. When a person chews gums, the amount of saliva in your mouth is increased. Why would you want more saliva? Because it washes away plaque and acids from your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent tooth decay.