It’s no secret that coffee stains the teeth. This popular beverage is consumed daily by more than 95% of the adult population, with more than 85% drinking it at least twice a day.
This means that it’s one of the most widely consumed beverages. Almost everybody has coffee in their kitchen somewhere (and so do I).
But how exactly does coffee stains your teeth? Is it true that it makes them yellow? Can it deteriorate them? Do you have other, less well-known conditions? In this article, we will try to answer these questions.
What effects does coffee have on teeth?
First of all, coffee does stain your teeth enamel. This drink has the effect of gradually darkening your dental whiteness by staining the enamel, making it shadier, less shiny.
If you want your teeth to remain white and have a celebrity-style smile, you should avoid drinking too much coffee since this beverage’s regular ingestion does produce stains in the enamel.
Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush, always ensure that the cleaning lasts at least more than 2 minutes.
Nevertheless, if coffee is a vital part of your diet, you can prevent its risks of darkening your teeth by brushing them regularly, at least two times a day (as recommended by the National Health Service in the U.K.).
Coffee does not affect other dental areas or cause disease
It has been demonstrated that, beyond darkening the enamel and giving a yellowish tone to the teeth, coffee doesn’t cause any further damage to the mouth.
Coffee only affects the aesthetic part of the teeth. That is, it is not an abrasive or invasive substance, so we can drink it without fear of it causing any dental disease such as gingivitis, cavities, or halitosis, to name a few of the most important.
You may want to read: Itchy Gums: How good is your oral hygiene?
If you brush your teeth well, regularly, you floss, go to your dentist’s appointments, and have a healthy diet, coffee will not be a problem for you or your mouth.
You will be able to keep your shiny smile for a long time.
Many people need coffee to start their day. It is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world.
Specifically, in America, the consumption of coffee and infusions has increased. It is very common to accompany lunch and breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea.
The main consequence of coffee consumption and certain infusions in the teeth is at an aesthetic level. Again, regular and excessive consumption of these drinks directly affects the enamel.
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The positive side is that it is easy to eliminate coffee stains on the teeth through correct professional care and regular visits to your dentist to maintain your oral health in a preventive manner.
Why does coffee stain the teeth?
The concern for dental aesthetics is increasing among people. This is because having a healthy and beautiful smile has positive effects at a personal and professional level.
There are two types of teeth stains, those that affect the tooth surface more and those that appear underneath that are more complicated to remove.
Now that you know how coffee affects the teeth, make an appointment with your local dentist to evaluate your teeth and start taking preventive measures. Also, as we mentioned earlier, consistent and efficient cleaning is essential.
Now, let’s review some advice for correct oral hygiene. Pay special attention if you’re like most of us- a coffee addict:
- Brush your teeth on the outside, from one end to the other
- Don’t forget to brush on the inside as well, in the opposite direction
- Brush the chewing surface of the teeth
- Brush the tongue
- Clean between the teeth using dental floss
- Rinse with a mouthwash
It is advisable to brush the teeth after the main meals with a soft bristle brush and an appropriate size.
Besides, it is convenient to use dental floss to clean the spaces between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach food remains.
Again, we advise you to visit your trusted dentist periodically to have a professional dental cleaning, “tartrectomy” or “dental cleaning” to remove the plaque accumulated under the gums and which is impossible to access with a brush or floss.
Other foods that stain your teeth
Both red and white make wine one of the greatest enemies of white teeth. Red wine is undoubtedly the one that causes the most damage to teeth’ aesthetics, given its composition.
Wine attacks in three different ways: by its acidity and the presence of tannins and chromogens.
These three substances can darken and transform shiny white teeth into ones with a slight purple hue with regular consumption.
Soft drinks and energy drinks
Their high sugar content makes them harmful to teeth, contributing to the generation of steins and cavities.
In turn, several studies have also shown the danger to the enamel with the so-called energy drinks consumed by athletes and young people.
The problem with these is their high sugar and acidic content, which causes severe damage to the enamel.
Tannins are very present in this drink, which contributes to teeth dyeing. The most harmful variety is black tea. In this case, tea causes a yellowish shade.
Fruits and vegetables of intense color
In this group we find blueberries, blackberries, cherries and vegetables such as beets.
The problem with these foods lies in their powerful pigment content that adheres to the tooth, capable of staining it. Acidic fruits should also be taken in moderation.
Soy sauce and vinegar
Strong sauce coloration, like soy sauce (composed of decolorizing agents), or balsamic vinegar from Modena, can also pierce the enamel and generate spots.
Large amounts of dyes and sugars usually present in these sweets causes both damage to the coloring of any teeth and a high risk of decay.
Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine
They are not food, but they contain chlorhexidine, an element indicated for gum inflammations and after surgeries. It can stein teeth when used continuously.
It is not food either; however, it does pass through the oral cavity and is one of the leading causes of teeth stains. Tobacco and, more specifically, its nicotine causes serious damage to the dental enamel.
Now the good guys
Fruits and vegetables
Apples, without a doubt, top the list. But in general, we can say that the most beneficial are those with a strong and fibrous texture.
These conditions encourage teeth cleaning during chewing and at the same time favor saliva segregation, a basic element to neutralize acids harmful to the enamel and reduce the risk of cavities.
Thus, in addition to apples, we can cite carrots, celery, spinach, cauliflower, and green beans.
Of course, milk and its derivatives. Cheeses, yogurt, etc. Lactic acid also contributes to the segregation of the saliva. Besides, calcium helps to improve the overall condition of your teeth.
Why coffee stains your teeth – Conclusion
As we said at the beginning of this post, everyone likes their teeth to be white and shiny. And why wouldn’t you? Good dental hygiene is essential for this.
However, besides coffee, other food and beverages contribute to teeth-staining, causing cavities and others that help keep teeth cleaner and make them more difficult to stain.
In this case, the maxim ‘you are what you eat’ makes sense since, in many cases, your teeth’ health and appearance will greatly depend on what you eat and drink.
Beverages are the ones that cause the most damage, firstly because their intake is greater in volume than food and secondly because their liquid state allows them to take advantage of the enamel porosity and permeate more.
In any case, it is not a question of censuring beverages, but rather that consumers are aware of its consequences, for which reason moderate consumption is recommended (if good teeth color is to be preserved).
Bear in mind that these products’ effect on the enamel can also be different in each individual since there are people who, for purely genetic reasons, have better enamel than others.
It is always advisable to carry out a good brushing session with toothpaste and mouthwash rinsing after ingesting these products to reduce their presence, contact, and, therefore, the harmful impact on the enamel.