We love our coffee and it even has some perks, like potentially lowering the risk for diabetes and heart disease, but it can also damage your teeth. Dr. Matthew Messina, a dentist and consumer advisor for the American Dental Association says its the tannins - compounds in plants that more readily stick to surfaces, like teeth - that cause the staining.
But we can’t possibly give up our beloved brew, so to keep drinking coffee without staining our smiles, it’s all about good oral hygiene. Here are some tips from coffee-loving dentists on how to enjoy a cup or three without ruining your pearly whites.
- Brush your teeth twice a day - Just brushing goes a long way to help prevent coffee stains. Brush twice and floss at least once every day.
- Drink water immediately after - If you can’t brush right after your cup of joe, rinse with water to help get surface stuff off your teeth. The more water you drink, the less time your teeth are exposed to the coffee and its tannins.
- Sip, don't swish - Alice Boghosian, dentist and American Dental Association spokesperson, keeps her smile white by making sure not to swish coffee around in her mouth. She says this keeps the staining agents from finding their way onto your teeth.
- Use a straw - This helps move liquid past your front teeth, which people see more when you talk. Dr. Boghosian points out that a straw will help coffee go straight down and not move around in your mouth.
- Skip the sugar - The sweet stuff can latch onto teeth and that can lead to staining, and even tooth decay if not brushed away thoroughly.