7 Ways To Prevent Coffee Stains on Teeth: Hygienist Explains

To me, a cup of coffee is a chance to slow down my world and just sit with my own thoughts. As I sit here on my couch sipping my second cup of coffee, I appreciate my favourite time of day, gearing up to head out the door.

Here are my 7 ways to combat coffee stains on my teeth;

  1. Rinsing
  2. Floss
  3. Straws
  4. Black Coffee
  5. Regular dental hygiene cleanings
  6. Brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush
  7. Chew xylitol gum

A cup of coffee for me isn’t just about the caffeine buzz that will kick in minutes from now. It’s the silence, aroma, taste, and warm cup between my hands that I enjoy most. Consequently, these positives can come along with a few negatives.

And what a negative that comes with drinking that cup of java?

Stained teeth.

People want white teeth.

Most people that take a seat in my dental chair are concerned with how white their teeth appear. And because I am one on one with my patients, I get asked how I keep my teeth so white.

Most people who are coffee addicts (just like me) are on the hunt for affordable and fast results in order to obtain pearly whites. With so much out there on the big worldwide web, the quest for those answers can be a difficult one.

How do you know what to believe and what not to believe? There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet.

Fortunately, the solution is simple.

The trick to battling the coffee stains is to prevent them. How can you get rid of stains that aren’t even there?

Here are 7 ways how to prevent coffee stains like a dental professional

1. Rinsing

Rinsing with water after having a cup of coffee helps wash away the coffee’s pigment.

The result; preventing the stain from adhering to the tooth surface and settling in.

And if you really want to be a shining star, drink and swish with water after every sip or two if you are one of those people who take longer than 30 minutes to finish their cup.

Coffee is acidic. This means that when you are drinking coffee, it begins to soften the outer layer of your tooth. Soft enamel can be easily brushed away, so please do NOT take the advice to brush right after drinking that cup of joe.

It all boils down to this; drink your coffee as fast as you can, and rinse with water during and after drinking your coffee and wait 30 minutes at least before you brush your teeth after.

2. The F word…. FLOSS

Flossing prevents the stain from adhering to the sides, corners and in between the teeth. This is because of the mechanical removal of plaque on the teeth.

By removing the plaque, you prevent it from calcifying into tartar (calculus). This tartar (calculus) cannot be removed at home, it needs to be removed by a dental professional.  

If you need a brush up on your flossing skills, I go over the how-to floss in this post.

Therefore flossing = less plaque, which = less tartar (calculus), which = less stain that absorbs and is visible.

Also, less plaque means that your mouth is not in a state of acidity. The bacteria in your mouth produce acid. And as mentioned previously – acid can cause more stain. If the plaque sits on your teeth for too long it can start to soften your tooth – and it will pick up even more stain.

Imagine a dry sponge absorbing water. Your teeth are the dry sponge waiting to absorb the stain from your coffee.

3. Straws

Using a straw when drinking coffee sounds a little wacky but in the long run, it can really reduce the amount of stain on your teeth. I have had my fair share of weird looks directed at me while I have sipped on a coffee through a straw! But who cares… you will have white teeth to show for it. 

This works because it prevents your teeth from being completely bathed in coffee. Yes, a coffee bath may sound appealing LOL, but not for your teeth.  

I carry around some travel metal straws that fit perfectly in my purse.

4. Black coffee

This one took me a while to get used to it. I used the be that “grande vanilla latte with an extra shot of espresso” kind of girl.

The milk/cream and sugar can actually cause MORE stains on your teeth. And why is that? Because the sugar will start to soften your enamel even faster.

Read more about why cream in your coffee will still stain your teeth.Opens in a new tab.

Remember that sponge analogy – it applies here as well. Soft enamel is like a sponge, waiting to soak up that coffee.

5. Regular dental hygiene cleaning appointments

You begin to build up plaque and tartar (calculus) in between the teeth and along the gumline. Over time the plaque begins to calcify and become hard. This build-up is porous and can absorb pigment such as coffee stains. The tartar also acts like a magnet to attract more plaque, initiating a downward spiral of your oral health.

Tartar (calculus) can only be removed properly by having your teeth cleaned professionally as it is too hard for a toothbrush to remove.

Read Now: How Dental Hygienist’s Clean Your TeethOpens in a new tab.

6. Brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush

As I mentioned previously, you don’t want to brush your teeth immediately after you drink coffee. But, when you do brush your teeth you want to be using an electric toothbrush. The Oral-B electric toothbrush will prevent coffee stains on your teeth.

In the link below, is a post I wrote about the benefits of using an electric toothbrush. Most of them I had no idea about until I went to dental hygiene school! Opens in a new tab.

Read Now: 12 Benefits of Using an Electric ToothbrushOpens in a new tab.

7. Chew xylitol gum

Xylitol is an all-natural sugar that has cavity preventing powers. The xylitol can also prevent stains on your teeth by;

  • Stimulating your saliva glands to produce more saliva, this helps to rinse away the stain on your teeth right after you drink your coffee
  • Inhibits the growth of streptococcus mutans (the bacteria that causes cavities). This means that the less plaque on your teeth, the less stain that will be absorbed into the plaque.

I carry around a huge pack of xylitol gum with me everywhere I go. I would consider it to be a vital part of my oral hygiene routine.

You can find the xylitol gum that I use, and I recommend to my patients on my resource pageOpens in a new tab.!

For me, I will never stop drinking coffee so don’t even try to convince me! And most people who love their coffee are not willing to give it up. Especially for the sake of the colour of their teeth.

Following these 7 ways of preventing stain can help you achieve a healthier and brighter smile without giving anything up (well maybe sugar).


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