How can you prevent coffee stains on your teeth? The simple answer is the best joke we've ever heard — stop drinking coffee. We're not ready to abandon our morning fuel, and if you're jumping on the java train with us, you're likely interested in learning how you can continue drinking coffee without staining your teeth. Thankfully, you don't have to drastically adjust your drinking habits to reduce the yellowing of your enamel. We've gathered together a few tips on how to drink your daily cup while limiting staining.
One quick and easy option you have for reducing coffee stains on your teeth is to drink it differently. Some dentists recommend drinking through a straw instead of straight out of the cup. The thought is that the coffee will make less contact with your teeth. Another suggestion some dentists recommend is to gulp your beverage instead of sipping it. Depending on how hot, cold or foamy you take your beverage, you may not want to sip it through a straw or gulp it.
With the bacteria that builds in your mouth when you drink coffee — or consume any food and beverage — there's an easy way to minimize the potential staining. Drink your coffee normally, enjoying every sip. When you've finished, pop a piece of gum into your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum for half an hour after you finish your coffee will cut down on the acid that has accumulated in your mouth.
All variations of coffee contain the tannins that stain your teeth, but you can prevent these tannins from sticking to your enamel. Water is the only liquid that will truly remove bacteria and contaminants from your mouth. Alternating sips of water and coffee can wash tannins away. Milk has proteins called caseins that attach themselves to tannins and can actively prevent staining. This protein is usually found in animal milk, not soy or alternative milks.
Here's one piece of advice that seems almost counter-intuitive — don't brush your teeth immediately after drinking coffee. Though you may want to get these tannins off of your pearly whites as soon as possible, brushing right away when you've consumed acidic foods or beverages isn't recommended. You can actually weaken your tooth enamel by doing this and make it more likely that staining will appear on your teeth. Instead, consider rinsing your mouth with fresh water or waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing.