How to Get Rid of Coffee Stains on Teeth

For most coffee lovers, a cup of coffee is what they need to start the day. It is safe to say that coffee is important to these people, they can’t do without it. The taste, flavor, and warmth a perfectly brewed coffee brings to you are second to none. Do you know coffee stains the teeth? Yes, it does just like it can stain clothes. You must learn how to remove coffee stains on teeth.

Coffee Stains On Teeth
Photo Credits:stevepb, Pixabay.com

Coffee like other foods and beverages such as tea, wine, grapes, beets, chocolates and so on can discolor or stain the teeth. Sometimes, the surface of the teeth may appear smooth and clean, but a microscopic view usually reveals ridges and pits.

These spaces in the teeth have the ability to hold food particles like pigments from darkly colored foods or beverages like coffee. Over time, these pigments build-up leaving yellow stains on your teeth. 

There are different methods of removing coffee stains from the teeth without giving up your cup of joe totally. These methods include natural remedies, oral hygiene, eating good food or seeking professional assistance and so on.

In this article, we are going to show you how coffee compromises your dental health. We are also going to share some preventive tips and different methods of removing coffee stains from your teeth.

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

How Coffee Stains the Teeth

Video: How Does Coffee Affect Your Teeth?

Watch this video to know how coffee affect your teeth.

The teeth have several layers, of which the outermost is the enamel. It is the most mineralized and hardest substance in the body. It protects other delicate layers of the teeth.

The enamel contains microscopic gaps and ridges otherwise called the microscopic pits or holes. These gaps can hold food/drink particles. When they get stuck therein, the enamel gets stained or discolored. This is called the extrinsic stain.

Over time, with the continual accumulation of the particles in the pits due to irregular cleaning of the extrinsic stain, other layers of the tooth gets affected. This is called the intrinsic stain and it is so difficult to clean.

Coffee contains compounds called tannins. Tannins are natural compounds and a type of polyphenol. It breaks down in water and can cause pigments from coffee to stick to the gaps or pits of the enamel on the teeth.

After some time, they leave a permanent yellow discoloration on the teeth. It is interesting to note here that it takes only a cup of coffee daily to cause a stain on the teeth. Hence, it is important you regularly get rid of the stains.

Note:

Tannins are also found in tea, soda, wine, and other foods and drinks.

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How to Get Rid of Coffee Stains on Teeth?

There are different ways of getting rid of coffee stains from the teeth. They are grouped into two categories: 

  1. Home remedies.
  2. Professional assistance.

Home Remedies

The removal of coffee stains starts from your home. Here are tips on how to get rid of the yellow stain on your teeth:

Mix Hydrogen Peroxide with Baking Soda

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent. It acts on the enamel and induces it to release the particles that are causing the stain (in this case, the coffee). Baking soda speeds up this oxidation reaction to get the particles quickly thereby removing the coffee stains from the teeth.

Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in a container. Then add a little quantity of baking soda. Mix thoroughly to form a paste. Make sure that the mixture is runny, as a gritty paste could signify too much baking soda which can scrape your enamel. There are 2 ways of using this mixture.

You can brush your teeth with it just like using a regular toothpaste for 5 minutes or you spread it all over the teeth. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes and rinse off. Thereafter, brush your teeth using regular toothpaste. This can be done once daily for about 2 to 3 weeks until you get the desired result.

Some people do not like the usage of hydrogen peroxide for this procedure since it is also used for decoloring hair. Hydrogen peroxide used for removing stains from the teeth is not as concentrated as the one used in hair bleach.

However, make sure your lips are protected during usage.

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Teeth Whitening Kits

Most teeth whitening kits mainly utilize hydrogen peroxide with several options to choose from. There are two types: liquid pack and strips.

The liquid pack comes with 2 guides. One guide for the upper set of teeth and one for the lower set of teeth. Using the syringes that come with the pack, apply hydrogen peroxide solution to each guard. 

Then place it over the teeth. Leave it for the instructed duration of time. Remove each guard, rinse your teeth and brush using your regular toothpaste.

The strips have a similar working mechanism. Put the strips on the teeth and let them stay there as instructed. Remove them and rinse your teeth. The solution used in these strips is stronger than the liquid packs.

Generally, teeth whitening kits can harm your enamel and gums after long-term use. So, make sure you use them with caution and follow the product instructions.

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Whitening Toothpaste

Brushing regularly with whitening toothpaste can also help to maintain a clean and whiter tooth. Mild whitening toothpaste help to polish teeth and get rid of stains on the teeth surfaces. While toothpaste with carbamide and hydrogen peroxide clean the teeth from inside the enamel to the surface.

There are also bleaching whiteners that can also be gotten over the counter or from a dentist. They dissolve stains by coating the teeth. The downside of using these products is that they may cause tooth sensitivity. 

Before using any of these products, be sure to consult your dentist first for expert advice on the best bleaching products.

Activated Charcoal

This product works too in removing coffee stains from the teeth. The good news is that they are less damaging to the teeth over a long period of time than other whitening products that contain hydrogen peroxide.

They are easy to use. All you have to do is rub the charcoal mixture on the teeth, leave it on for some minutes. Rinse off and brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.

Some types of charcoal products are mixed with powders or herbal oils to enhance the taste. Some herbs have antibacterial and breath freshening properties. An example of such herbs is the sage herb.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a whitening effect to remove coffee stains when used for a long time. Put one spoonful of apple cider vinegar in your mouth. Then gargle for about 10 minutes. Rinse off and brush your teeth using your regular toothbrush.

You must be cautious when using this product because of its acidity. Just like other chemical whitening products, they can damage your teeth after long-term use.

Coconut Oil

Bacteria can build up in the teeth after eating or after a period of time. This can break down the teeth surface and make them look discolored and dull. Coconut oil, an antibacterial agent has teeth whitening properties. 

It helps to kill bacteria in the teeth and counteract the effect of excess acid in the mouth. These acids cause yellowish coloration of the teeth. 

Put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and allow it to melt. Gargle the oil all around your mouth. Making sure you coat each tooth. Then drag the oil in between the teeth (front to back). Repeat this process for about 20minutes. Rinse and brush your teeth with regular toothpaste. Do this daily. This gets rids of coffee stains as well as bad breath and possible tooth decay. 

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Mashed Strawberries

This has been proven to also remove coffee stains from the teeth. Well, this is the tastiest tooth whitening option. So, you can try it out.

Professional Cleaning

To get rid of coffee stains and maintain good oral hygiene, visit a dentist for professional cleaning. Sometimes, this may involve tooth polishing to remove all stains on your teeth leaving it sparkling clean.

Remember, to ask your dentist about any bleaching or whitening products you may want to use.

You can also schedule a regular visit with your dentist biannually to remove plaques on your teeth.

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How To Prevent Coffee Stains on Teeth

Giving up your cup of joe is the best coffee stains preventive measure. But this is not a realistic option for a lot of people. Easier said than done, we must say.

While coffee stains might not show immediately after drinking your cup, over time, it does appear for regular coffee lovers. Once coffee stains develop, it is difficult to remove them. 

Preventing them from forming is the best option. Some ways to prevent these coffee stains on your teeth are:

Drink Water

Drinking water with your coffee is a good way to reduce the number of times your teeth have contact with the coffee. Drinking water with coffee helps to flush out coffee from your mouth and rinse it off in the process.

If there are artificial sweeteners in your coffee, it also removes sugars from the teeth that can lead to plaque formation. Plaques make your teeth sticky and are a good place for tannins to stick onto.

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Drink Less Caffeinated Coffee

Even though we know that the stimulating effect of caffeine is the reason you drink coffee in the first place, it also determines the extent of coffee stains in your teeth. This is so because caffeine levels are related to polyphenols compounds found in coffee. 

The lesser the caffeine levels, the fewer polyphenols present, and consequently less staining. Decaffeinated coffee is your best bet.

There are different ways to brew coffee to reduce caffeine levels and reduce staining. For example, French Press coffee is more likely to stain your teeth more than Percolator coffee.

Another coffee brewing method that is less likely to stain the teeth is the cold brew method. Although this takes a longer time than other brewing methods, it might help to prevent coffee stains on your teeth. 

Note that the Turkish coffee brew method is the most likely to stain your teeth. 

Regular Consumption of Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are natural teeth cleaners because of their fiber content. They remove coffee pigments from your teeth while you chew them. They also remove other stains on each tooth.

Dry vegetables and fruits are the best options as they cause more secretion of saliva during the chewing process. This helps to speed up the degradation of the stain-causing elements that are stuck in the enamel ridges or gaps.

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Floss Frequently

Set aside some minutes to floss at least once daily. This removes unwanted food or drinks particles that can cause plaque formation. Plaques cause stains to form on the teeth thereby causing infections. Brushing alone does not remove all bacteria from your mouth.

Brush Immediately After Brushing

This is a great method to prevent coffee from staining your teeth permanently. It removes all coffee residues that are stuck in between the enamel gaps.

After drinking coffee, wait for about an hour before brushing your teeth with your regular toothpaste. This is because the acidity of coffee drinks can soften the enamel. If you brush your teeth immediately after drinking coffee, you may scrub off your enamel.

This leaves them more porous and prone to more staining. If you don’t have an opportunity to brush your teeth, you can gargle your mouth with mouth wash or water.

Additionally, you can swap your manual toothbrush for an electric type that cleans better than the former. Also, brush at least twice daily for about 2minutes.

For more expert advice, schedule a visit with your orthodontist or dentist.

Sugar-free gum

Chewing sugar-free gum gets rid of coffee breath from your mouth. They do this by increasing the secretion of saliva which washes away plaque and acids from the teeth. Your teeth get clean in the process. 

Also, studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after eating for about 20minutes can prevent tooth decay.

Professional Cleaning

Professional cleaning is better than any other home remedy. Regular teeth whitening treatments done by an orthodontist or dentist are better. It also keeps your teeth sparkling clean. If you already have discolored teeth, a professional can remove the stains.

This will prevent the formation of new stains on the teeth. Remember that teeth whitening treatments over time erode the outer layer of your teeth (enamel). A combination of this method and other methods already discussed protect your teeth against coffee stains.

There are other speculated methods of preventing coffee stains on the teeth but they have not been scientifically proven. They include:

Adding Milk or Cream to Coffee Drink

The dark pigmentation of coffee stains the teeth surfaces. Some people are of the opinion that adding milk or cream to your coffee lightens this dark pigmentation of the coffee drink. And might protects the teeth from the staining acids.

They argue that milk products gotten from animals are high in protein. These proteins bind with the polyphenol compounds (tannins) present in coffee. Instead of sticking to the gaps in between the enamel, they go to the stomach where they are broken down.

Most people believe that the more quantity of protein present in your milk product, the greater the effect. This school of thought believes that this preventive effect is only found in milk gotten from animals. 

So, plant-based milk products like soymilk do not prevent coffee stains on the teeth even though they taste nice because they don’t contain these proteins. However, these claims are not scientifically proven.

Downside

Most experts say that adding milk or cream to your coffee does not prevent coffee stains on teeth. Firstly, they say that milk does not lower the tannins (polyphenol) compounds in coffee drinks. So, whether coffee looks dark or light has minimal effect on how the coffee stains teeth, what matters is the tannin content.

Secondly, milk contains artificial sugars and so is known to increase the sugar contents of coffee. These can increase plaque formation on the teeth. 

Coffee drinks are better served without artificial sweeteners and milk. But if you must add them, then rinse your mouth after drinking coffee to remove coffee particles. Or drink water alongside the coffee.

Drink Coffee Using a straw

Contrary to what many people believe, using a straw to drink coffee is not a perfect way to prevent coffee stains on the teeth. It will only reduce the quantity of coffee that comes in contact with the front parts of the teeth.

The molars will be stained while the front part of your teeth will not come in contact with tannins. Also, you can easily burn your tongue when you drink hot coffee using a straw. In addition, you can develop wrinkles from regularly sucking from straws.

Note:

Using a straw is good when you occasionally drink cold brew coffee. This reduces its staining effect on your teeth.

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How to Treat Teeth Sensitivity After A Whitening Procedure

Sometimes, your teeth can become sensitive after a tooth whitening treatment.  If this happens, there are options you can try to reduce the resultant pain.

Get A Sensitivity Toothpaste

Sensitivity toothpaste contains special ingredients like potassium nitrate which helps to soothe the pain that results from tooth sensitivity.

Sugarless Gum

Studies have shown that chewing gum increases the secretion of saliva.  The process of chewing gum may divert the attention of people from the sensitivity pain.

Stop All Tooth Whitening Treatments 

All tooth whitening treatments and products should be suspended for some time.  This will give your teeth some time off. 

Other Risks Associated with Coffee Consumption

Coffee causes the growth of bacteria in the mouth. This can erode your enamel and teeth causing them to become delicate and brittle.

Also, coffee can stick to your tongue thereby causing halitosis or bad breath. To prevent this, make sure you eat food first before drinking coffee. You can also use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to scrub your tongue after drinking coffee.

Conclusion

There is no magical method to immediately reverse any discoloration once it has happened. These tips when applied every day help to prevent any further stains from forming on your teeth. Over time, your smile whitens and improves.

We know it is difficult to stop drinking coffee, however, moderation is the key. Dentists recommend having at least 2 cups of coffee daily. We do hope that you found this article helpful.

The important thing we want you to learn is taking steps to prevent stains from occurring. Then removing these stains often as they occur. This will prevent accumulation and help to maintain the white color of your teeth.

Remember to visit your dentist regularly for expert advice and check-up biannually and brush your teeth at least twice daily.

If you do all these, your oral health and hygiene will be maintained.