Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth?

By

Sixth Street Dental

|

August 21, 2020

Coffee. It’s a drink that most people can’t live without. But while it’s great for waking us up in the morning and giving us that extra boost of energy we need for the day, it’s not so healthy for our teeth. Most people know that coffee stains their teeth. But can it do further damage than that? Pittsburgh dentists tell you everything about coffee and its relationship to our dental health in Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics’ latest blog post.

Coffee and Teeth Stains

Pittsburgh dentists explain how coffee makes your teeth yellow

cup of coffee on bed

Coffee stains develop over a prolonged period of time. This is because coffee contains organic substances called tannins. These ingredients break down in water and stain your teeth by causing colored compounds to stick to them. These compounds attach to your teeth by sticking to microscopic ridges located inside their enamel. Over time, this can leave unsightly yellow stains on your teeth. 

The acidity of the coffee can also cause staining. Acid softens the enamel of your teeth, which makes it more vulnerable to stains. Once the tannins seep through the enamel, they much more difficult to remove. Adding sugar to your coffee can also increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Over time, your weakened teeth become more vulnerable to serious dental conditions. 

Methods for Preventing Coffee Stains

There are several techniques you can practice to prevent staining. For instance, try sipping your coffee within a specific time period rather than periodically throughout the day. This allows you to rinse your mouth out and brush your teeth at least 30 minutes after you finish your cup of coffee. 

You can also chew on a healthy snack like an apple or granola bar while you enjoy your cup of coffee. The act of chewing causes more mouth to produce saliva, which can neutralize the acids from the coffee. Washing the coffee down with a glass of water can also dilute the acid and prevent it from harming your tooth enamel. Avoiding additives such as cream and sugar can also help you protect your teeth. 

Regularly brushing your teeth with whitening toothpaste and scheduling regular cleanings with your dentist can also help prevent stains from accumulating. However, the best method for preventing yellow stains is to cut or reduce your coffee intake. There are a number of alternatives you can try that will also help boost your energy in the morning. 

Alternatives to Coffee

Want to quit coffee? Pittsburgh dentists offer these alternatives

woman sipping on cup of tea

You can wake yourself up in the morning without drinking coffee. While that might be difficult at first, you should consider trying these alternatives if teeth stains play a major focus or insecurity in your life. In general, preventing staining is much easier and more effective than attempting to remove them after they have already stuck to your teeth. If you don’t want to deal with teeth strains down the road, these coffee alternatives might be great for you! 

Teas

There are a number of different teas available that are great alternatives to coffee. White Tea, Yerba Mate, and Rooibos Herbal Tea, in particular, are known for boosting your energy levels without presenting the added risk of staining your teeth. You should be careful about what types of tea you choose to wake yourself up in the morning with. Some teas, such as Earl Grey and English Breakfast, can actually stain your teeth. 

Drinking a glass of water with a nutritious breakfast

Starting your morning off with a delicious breakfast and fresh glass of water can give you the boost of energy you need to make it through the day. Make sure you remember to pack a nutritious lunch filled with plenty of protein to help you get through that mid-day slump. Munching on light snacks such as low-fat Greek yogurt or a granola bar can also keep you energized during the entire day. 

Try some energizing stretches

A quick sun salutation and some morning stretches can make you feel refreshed and ready-to-go. You can try an easy yoga flow filled with lunges, upward-facing dogs, and more to start your day off right. These exercises are designed to get your blood moving and wake you up for the day. 

Tips for Removing Stains

How to remove unsightly stains from your teeth

woman smiling

If you have teeth stains, there are several methods you can try to remove them. Some treatment options, such as home remedy kits or store-bought whitening strips, are less effective than professional dental treatments. However, they are usually less expensive than treatments like teeth bleaching or veneers. You should examine each option to decide which one best suits your needs and budget.

Home Remedies

Home teeth whitening kits and whitening toothpastes are popular tools for removing stains at home. Some people also make their own vinegar and baking soda solutions to whiten their teeth. If these home remedies are ineffective against your teeth stains, do not worry. Professional dental treatments like teeth whitening procedures and veneers are highly effective in removing unwanted teeth stains.

Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening can turn your teeth several shades brighter and remove stubborn stains. Most dental offices offer three different levels of teeth bleaching for you to try. These treatments typically last around several years. You can also undergo a quick re-fill every six to twelve months to enjoy optimum results. 

Veneers

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are placed over the front side of your teeth. In addition to correcting stains, veneers can also correct chipped, decayed, or crooked teeth. Because your dentist will need to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth, placing veneers is typically irreversible. 


Is it almost time for your regular dental check-up? Don’t forget to schedule your upcoming appointment at Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics — one of the best Pittsburgh dentists located downtown. Contact one of our team members today to get started.

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125 Sixth Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
400 Baldwin Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

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