When it comes to beverages, there’s nothing more addictive and treasured than coffee. A hot drink that makes people wake up and keeps them going all day long can also be just a quick treat for others. Either way, we can’t deny that almost every grown up in the world enjoys coffee in one of its presentations. Sadly, coffee and caffeinated teas contain high levels of tannins, a substance that causes the color of the drink to stick to your teeth and stain them. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to coffee and tea but you don’t want to have yellow teeth and an overall bad dental health, keep reading to find out how to prevent staining from happening.
Drink Coffee Through a Straw
When you take a sip of your morning coffee, it’s washing down from your frontal teeth all the way to your molars, causing damage all the way. A good way to prevent this from happening, as it’s now done by many people, is to drink your coffee with a straw. Sure, it might look weird, especially if you’re drinking hot coffee. But having the coffee enter as deep in your mouth as possible without touching your teeth can prevent tannins from staining them.
Brush Your Teeth Right After Drinking Coffee or Tea
Experts suggest you pick a time of your day to get your caffeine fix, properly brush your teeth and move on with your life. Long exposures to tannins make for darker spots that are harder to remove later on.
But be careful not to brush too soon: right after you finish your cup of coffee swish your mouth with plain water to remove residues, and an hour later you can thoroughly brush your teeth. Brushing right after drinking tea or coffee can scrape out the enamel of teeth, which is left softer after drinking or eating.
Sip Water Along With Your Coffee
Don’t feel like having coffee just once a day? The next best thing to take care of your smile is to have a glass of water right next to your cup of tea or coffee. Every time you take a sip of your coffee, alternate with a sip of water. This way you’ll be instantly washing away the tannins of the caffeine, significantly reducing the damage they can do on your pearly teeth.
Pick Tea With Less Caffeine or Decaffeinated Coffee
Although it’s possible that caffeine is the only reason you turn to beverages like coffee and black tea, it’s also the reason why your teeth are at risk every day. The more caffeine your drink is, the bigger the possibility of getting coffee stains or darkening of your teeth. We might suggest picking a less decaffeinated coffee if you still want to enjoy your morning coffee, and if tea is what you like then there are plenty of decaffeinated coffee and tea options around, like herbal or fruity teas.
Floss Your Teeth Everyday
Asides from brushing your teeth at least two times a day, flossing is a great way to prevent staining from happening, as well as a dental health basic tip. As you might know, the tannins in coffee and tea get even to the most hidden places in your mouth, and this also means the microscopic space between your teeth. Make sure that, at least once a day, you take your floss and pass it along each and every one of your teeth. This can also help prevent plaque and tartar from building up.
Don’t Add Sugar to Your Coffee
It’s risky enough for your set of teeth to be in contact with caffeine every single day so, to also add the risk of them getting hurt by sugar is a double whammy. The best way to enjoy your coffee and not having to worry about hard-to-get coffee stains is by skipping sugar and sweeteners. Sugars have the habit of naturally latching on to your teeth, promoting tooth decay that can be worsened if combined with the stains of the tannins.
Related: 24 Ways Sugar Harms Your Health
Get a Professional Teeth Whitening
Once in a while it’s important to leave your smile in the hands of professionals. When you’re doing one of your check-ups, you might want to ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatments. Even if your teeth aren’t as stained as you’d think, they’re probably one or two tones darker than they usually were and you didn’t even notice. Professional teeth whitening lasts longer and even helps prevent further staining, but they sometimes require you to quit all tannins and staining food while the treatment is on-going. This is the reason why we don’t recommend you turning to at-home whiteners; they make your teeth somewhat porous and if you don’t quit tannins you could end up with even darker teeth.
Use an Ultrasonic Toothbrush
An ultrasonic toothbrush is a hygienic device that anyone can use in their daily oral hygiene routines. These brushes operate by generating ultrasound in order to help remove plaque and plaque bacteria without having to apply pressure or hurting teeth. Ultrasonic toothbrushes are considered one of the most modern and effective options for people who want to give their teeth professional care every single day. Using an ultrasonic toothbrush everyday can help you get rid of any trace of tannin that could sit in your teeth during your coffee breaks.
Don’t Forget Your Biannual Dentist Check-Up
Last, but not least, remember that every day you can do things to take care of your teeth. However, this does not make your check-ups optional. Twice a year you should go to your dentist to get your teeth checked, get a professional cleaning done and repair any possible damage done by either coffee, tea, sugar or other compounds.
Now that you know these valuable tips to prevent getting tea and coffee stains on your teeth, you can finally enjoy your steaming cups without guilt or worries! Remember that your dental health is no joke, if not taken seriously it could ultimately lead to infections or tooth decay so severe that tooth removal could be necessary.