This year, National Coffee Day will be celebrated on Sunday, September 29. Whether you celebrate with an espresso, a cappuccino, or just a plain cup of brewed coffee, this is a great opportunity to indulge in your coffee habit.
But the love of coffee does have some drawbacks — namely, tooth stains. If you drink a lot of coffee, your teeth can become stained. Why does this happen, and how can you get rid of stains with teeth whitening? Smillie Dental explores how!
How Does Coffee Cause Tooth Stains?
The culprit is a category of polyphenols called “tannins.” These compounds are responsible for the bold, brown color of coffee, and much of its flavor and taste.
However, they can also stain your teeth. The enamel that makes up the hard outer layer of our teeth is extremely hard and durable, but it has very small pores that can capture tannins and other staining compounds, and hold them onto the teeth. Over time, this can result in a stained and discolored smile.
Coffee tannins can also stick to plaque, which is normally colorless, and stain it brown. These stains are only temporary, as plaque can be cleaned away by brushing and flossing properly.
Can I Drink Coffee Without Staining My Teeth?
If the idea of giving up coffee or reducing your coffee intake already has you feeling caffeine withdrawals, we get it! Giving up coffee may not be an option for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to fight back against stains.
Our top tip is to use a straw whenever you drink coffee. This may seem strange, but drinking through a straw prevents the coffee from contacting most of your teeth directly, and helps prevent teeth stains.
You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water after you drink coffee, and brush 15-30 minutes later to remove the remaining coffee compounds from your teeth. You shouldn’t brush right after drinking coffee, though, because coffee is acidic. Brushing right after consuming acidic foods and drinks can damage your enamel.
How Does Teeth Whitening Remove Stains Caused By Coffee?
When all else fails, you have dental options to help keep your teeth bright, even with a daily coffee habit.
Teeth whitening uses a type of compound called a “peroxide” to bleach stains away from your teeth. The two compounds usually used to whiten teeth are called carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.
What makes peroxides unique is their volatile structure. They contain oxygen molecules that react strongly when they contact organic tooth stains caused by things like tannins. Then, the oxygen molecules break the chemical bonds that hold the stain onto your tooth.
By doing so, they “bleach” away the stain, and restore the natural white color of your enamel. Teeth whitening treatment can provide you with a bright, beautiful smile, even if you have a heavy coffee habit!
Got Coffee Stains? Smillie Dental Is Here To Help!
At Smillie Dental, we offer professional teeth whitening in a comfortable environment. If your teeth are stained from drinking coffee in Port Orange, we’re here to help. Contact us now at (386) 317-4754, or stop by our office at 5537 South Williamson Blvd, #675, Port Orange, Florida 32128 to schedule a consultation in-person.