Why does coffee stain your teeth?

This is a recurring theme among coffee drinkers worldwide. We are unhappy that our favourite beverage has an unpleasant side effect; why does coffee yellow our teeth? What can we do to avoid it?

Coffee-stained teeth always look bad, and it’s a problem no one likes to suffer from. Coffee stains on teeth are usually mild and disappear with a professional cleaning or whitening, which we should have at least once a year. However, most of us put it off until our teeth have become too stained.

Reasons why coffee damages teeth

Coffee affects the colour of teeth, mainly for three reasons:

  • Coffee is an acid, and all acids damage tooth enamel. In the long term, it can weaken them if proper dental hygiene is not maintained.
  • Tooth enamel is a porous element. What does this mean? It means that, over time, coffee breaks through this first protective layer, penetrating the teeth. This is why coffee yellows the teeth at first and then gradually darkens.
  • We usually drink it very hot, and hot drinks stain tooth enamel more.

And by the way, this problem occurs with both regular coffee and decaffeinated coffee, as caffeine is not directly responsible for the effect of coffee on teeth.

What can I do to prevent coffee from staining my teeth?

Option 1: Stop drinking coffee or drastically reduce coffee consumption. But this is far from our preferred option, so let’s move on to the next one.

Option 2: One of the key measures to avoid staining your teeth with coffee is to brush your teeth right after drinking coffee, as soon as possible. This simple gesture will prevent coffee from staining your teeth or considerably delay its effects.

However, we know that this is often not possible as we drink coffee outside the home, at work, in restaurants, offices, etc. The proper solution against this is always carrying a portable toothbrush or a small cleaning kit.

Option 3: If you can’t brush your teeth after drinking coffee, try to drink a glass of water right after coffee. And if you can, it is even better to nibble on a piece of celery or carrot. These fruits contain a lot of water and act as natural cleaners for your teeth.
And if this alternative doesn’t suit you, you always have the last option.

Option 4: Drink your coffee through a straw. Sound weird? Yes, it does. But if you don’t want to stop drinking coffee and already have problems with your teeth. In that case, you can use this method so that the coffee goes directly to the roof of your mouth without coming into contact with your teeth.

We insist that the only valid measure to prevent coffee from pigmenting your teeth is to brush them immediately after consumption.