Coffee and tea can both provide you with the extra energy you need to get through the day, making them the perfect drinks of choice for many as they start their day. However, they can also stain your teeth, making your otherwise healthy teeth appear dirty with a brown or yellow tint.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do so you can still enjoy your favorite beverages without discoloring your teeth.
Benefits of coffee and tea for your teeth
Despite the fact that they can stain your teeth, coffee, and tea actually benefit your oral health in a number of ways. Studies have shown that coffee can destroy the bacteria that leads to plaque, which in turn helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Tea can also help prevent gum disease. It contains a lot of polyphenols, which produce an anti-inflammatory effect to prevent gingivitis. Studies have even found that those who consumed green tea regularly experienced a decrease in all symptoms of gum disease.
How to prevent tea and coffee stains on your teeth
Although your teeth may maintain good health while drinking coffee and tea, these beverages will stain them and make them appear unhealthy and yellow. Thankfully, there are some preventative measures you can take when you drink your coffee or tea to ensure that your teeth don’t become stained.
One way to do this, is by adding milk to your beverage. Milk not only lightens the color of the coffee or tea, but it also has protein, which attaches to the polyphenols in the coffee. So, rather than attaching to your teeth and staining them, the polyphenols move straight to your stomach instead.
Drinking coffee without caffeine can also minimize staining, as it has less polyphenols. You can also try drinking your coffee or tea through a straw to reduce the contact it has with your teeth.
But, perhaps one of the best ways to prevent stains is by brushing your teeth 30 minutes after drinking coffee. This removes any remaining residue from the coffee or tea before it starts to stain your teeth. By waiting 30 minutes, you’ll allow your saliva to neutralize any acids in your mouth without causing any damage to your plaque.
Teeth whitening from a dentist is your best choice
Since it’s not always possible to take the necessary steps to prevent stains, there are thankfully many ways to remedy teeth that have already been stained by coffee or tea. You can always try home whitening remedies, but nothing will be as effective as having regular whitening treatments by your dentist. Professional treatments help your teeth stay whiter longer and prevent new stains.
Be sure to remember that undergoing too many teeth whitening treatments can be harmful to the natural protective layer of your teeth. If you have stains on your teeth that you’d wish to have removed, consult with Dr. D’Alfonso and schedule an appointment with Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry today.