Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth?
Coffee may get us smiling in the morning, but it doesn’t always have the most flattering effect on our smile: The tiny pits and ridges naturally present in tooth enamel make our teeth prone to staining from dark foods and beverages. Though we cannot usually see these microscopic flaws in our tooth enamel, they readily absorb pigments from dark-coloured substances; over time, these substances may leave permanent discolouration behind. Coffee is one of the worst offenders because, like tea, it contains a dark substance known as “tannins” while also being acidic enough to slightly soften and infiltrate enamel.
Contrary to popular belief, adding cream to your coffee will not lessen the risk of staining as the same pigments and acids are present in coffee with cream, milk, or whitener. The only way to prevent coffee-stained teeth is to give up tannin-rich beverages like coffee, tea, and wine or change how one consumes said beverages. It is better to drink dark-coloured beverages like coffee quickly rather than sipping them over the span of hours and you should rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth after consuming strongly-pigmented food or drinks to remove the potentially yellowing pigments from your teeth.
How to Avoid Coffee Stained Teeth?
If you regularly consume coffee or other tannin-laden beverages, you should consider using a whitening toothpaste in addition to brushing regularly. You should also be sure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings as the intensive cleanings given by dental professionals are often able to remove surface stains from teeth. If cleanings alone do not suffice, talk to your dentist about whitening treatments. Your dentist should be able to safely whiten your teeth if they have become deeply stained.