You’ve probably struggled to scrub out stubborn brown stains from the inside of a coffee mug—now imagine what that coffee is doing to your teeth! Any dentist will tell you that coffee is a major culprit when it comes to stained teeth. In fact, coffee does more than simply impact the color of your teeth. Mark Stephens DMD of Richmond, Kentucky, is here to give you a professional dentist’s insight on the effect coffee can have on your oral health.
Coffee contains tannins, a plant-based compound also found in wine and tea. Tannins cause color compounds to stick to teeth more readily and dull your smile in the process. Coffee is also very acidic, and acids can cause your teeth’s protective enamel to soften, making it easier for stains to set.
Some evidence indicates that coffee stains are even more persistent than nicotine stains, being more resistant to tooth brushing and more likely to become discolored again following teeth whitening. Aside from giving your smile an unsightly hue, heavily stained teeth can also become sticky and attract additional food particles and bacteria. Yuck!
You probably don’t want to give up your morning cup of coffee—so what can you do keep your caffeine but protect your teeth? Brushing as soon as you finish your coffee is the first step. If you’re drinking coffee at work, keep a toothbrush and whitening toothpaste in your desk drawer. No time for brushing? At the least rinse your mouth out. Simply swishing some water around your mouth after a cup of coffee is better than nothing! Finally, don’t skip your biannual visit to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned. If you’re really worried about coffee stains, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening.
If you’re in the Richmond, Kentucky, area and worried about discolored teeth, trust Mark Stephens, DMD, for advice. This friendly family dentistry practice offers a variety of general and cosmetic dentistry services, from Invisalign® to teeth whitening. Visit the dental clinic’s website to find out more about the services offered, or call (859) 626-0069 to schedule an appointment.