A Coffee Lover's Guide to Whiter Teeth

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You love coffee. You love coffee so much that it makes your eyes light up and your smile widen immediately after the first sip of a deliciously roasted and brewed cup. Unfortunately, sometimes our smiles don't shine as brightly thanks to those annoying coffee stains on our teeth.

Don't worry — your trusted baristas and brewers at Barnie's are ready to restore your smile! We're here to give you our best tips and advice on how to remove coffee stains from your teeth, how to whiten coffee-stained teeth and how you can continue drinking coffee without staining teeth any further!

Common Reasons for Teeth Discoloration

Our smile is meant to be displayed with pride! Sadly, many of us are faced with yellowing teeth at some point in our lives. Our teeth may become discolored for many reasons, and some individuals may experience one or more issues that contribute to their yellowing. Genetics is the number one reason why teeth become yellow, but illness, injury and age can also cause this discoloration. Aside from these issues, intrinsic and extrinsic staining are common culprits.

Intrinsic staining occurs on the inner part of the tooth known as the dentin and can be caused by medications, mouthwashes, radiation, dental treatments or even too much fluoride. Extrinsic staining, however, causes discoloration on the surface of the enamel itself. Most stains on the enamel can be removed and are caused by a variety of dietary or lifestyle choices. Tobacco, acidic foods, iron supplements and many beverages can cause extrinsic staining — including our beloved cup of joe.

Why Does Coffee Stain My Teeth?

Neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to teeth discoloration as well as other dental issues that are much more serious. Those who are diligent in their brushing, flossing and biannual dental appointments may be discouraged to know that staining can happen to even those with the most responsible oral hygiene habits. The news gets worse — coffee is among many beverages that will likely stain your teeth just as easily as it can stain your clothing.

The enamel of our teeth is not completely solid — tiny gaps and spaces exist along the surface. Particles from the foods and drinks you consume enter into these gaps and stains the outer part of the enamel. Many of these substances, usually those that are dark-colored, contain compounds that stick to the enamel and their pigments stain the surface. Eventually, these stains can penetrate deeper if your teeth aren't cleaned regularly. Neglecting your teeth and consuming acidic substances can also erode the enamel and promote staining.

How to Whiten Coffee-Stained Teeth

Now that you know why our beloved brews will stain our teeth, it's time to figure out how to remove these distracting discolorations. From professional cleanings to at-home treatments to DIY tricks, there is no shortage of tips and advice on how to restore your smile's shine. Of course, before attempting any at-home remedy, it's always a good idea to consult your oral hygienist or dentist for their expert advice. Here are our ten favorite tips on how to remove coffee stains from your teeth.

1. Go to the Dentist

The best way to protect your teeth is to trust their care to trained healthcare professionals. How often should you visit your dentist? Most dentists recommend that you schedule an appointment for a basic checkup and cleaning once every six months while others suggest that adults can go up to two years in-between visits. When it comes to treating coffee stains, biannual visits will thoroughly clean and polish your enamel to remove discoloration and keep your teeth strong. Your dentist can also recommend tips for removing stains.

2. Purchase an Electric Toothbrush

What you use to brush your teeth is just as important as how you brush your teeth. While a manual toothbrush is an effective tool to keep your teeth healthy, multiple studies have concluded that an electric toothbrush offers better benefits than a manual toothbrush when using proper techniques. Regarding stain removal, the electric toothbrush is more effective at removing extrinsic stains, such as those from coffee, and polishing the surface of the enamel. Make sure you remember to replace your brush head every three to four months!

3. Use Whitening Toothpastes or Mouthwashes

Once you've swapped out your manual toothbrush for an electric toothbrush, you can give your teeth an even better cleaning by using toothpaste or mouthwash that features whitening properties. Whitening toothpaste can remove surface stains on the enamel. Some of these toothpastes also have a chemical called blue covarine, which sticks to your teeth to give it a white appearance. Similarly, whitening mouthwashes may contain hydrogen peroxide, which also whitens teeth. You may see minor results immediately with toothpaste and significant results over time with mouthwash.

4. Try At-Home Whitening Kits or Strips

Brushing your teeth with a whitening toothpaste and using a whitening mouthwash are quick and easy ways for you to begin removing the coffee stains from your teeth. If you're looking for a more thorough way to whiten your teeth as well as possible without going to the dentist, we recommend that you try whitening strips or at-home kits. There is a wide range of at-home solutions varying in price and level of whitening. Be sure to ask what your dentist recommends before choosing a kit.

5. Brush With Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

You may notice that whitening toothpastes, strips and kits often include hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient. If you'd rather not purchase any of these products, you can create your own at-home teeth whitening remedy. There are two ways to use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth — as a rinse or as a paste. You can swish equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water for one minute or mix a small amount of baking soda with a little peroxide to apply directly onto your teeth.

6. Try Coconut Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a DIY technique that some people believe provides oral health benefits, including removing stains from teeth. Those who have tried oil pulling — swishing coconut oil in their mouths for upwards of ten minutes — have reported that it can whiten your teeth. Other benefits may include reduced gum inflammation, bacteria and bad breath. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence that this method works, you can easily attempt it by swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, then brushing your teeth.

7. Rinse With Apple Cider Vinegar

Rinsing with apple cider vinegar is a similar at-home solution like oil pulling. You simply put a small spoonful of apple cider vinegar into your mouth, swish it around for a few minutes, then spit it out. Some people claim that it's been shown to whiten teeth over time. However, keep in mind that apple cider vinegar and all other kinds of vinegar are highly acidic. Acids can cause your enamel to weaken. If you choose this method, brush your teeth immediately after to remove the acid.

8. Brush With Mashed Strawberries

One of the more unorthodox teeth whitening tips may be the tastiest. Some people, including celebrities, claim that brushing your teeth with a mashed strawberry mix can whiten your teeth. Blend one mashed strawberry with one-half of a teaspoon of baking soda into a paste, then brush this pulpy mix across your teeth to whiten them. Naturally, the sugars and acids in fruit can also damage your teeth, so be sure to brush them with toothpaste when you're finished.

9. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Are you not interested in brushing your teeth with mashed strawberries? There's still a fruity way you can help keep your teeth white. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is healthy for many parts of your body, including your teeth! Raw vegetables and fruits can rub plaque and bacteria off of your teeth while you chew. If you look at the ingredient list on your toothpaste, you'll notice it contains bromelain, which is also found in pineapples. Eat these foods to help keep your teeth clean.

10. Light Whitening

There are some combinations of in-office and at-home whitening techniques you can try, such as teeth whitening via light. Some at-home kits and procedures in a dentist's office use LED lighting to bleach the enamel of your teeth. Typically, you see the best results with the in-office visit and can maintain them with the at-home lighting products. Unlike other whitening methods that use acidic products, this way of removing coffee stains doesn't appear to present any potential harm to your teeth.

There are dozens of other doctor-recommended and at-home tricks you can use to whiten teeth. Some may give you the results you desire quickly while others may require more time before they effectively remove discoloration. As with any health remedy, be sure to do your research and consider asking a healthcare professional for advice. Of course, the easiest way to remove coffee stains from your teeth is to prevent them in the first place. You can actually change the way you drink coffee to limit staining.

How to Drink Coffee Without Staining Teeth

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.

Drink Barnie's Coffee Without Staining Your Teeth

Coffee is delicious, and like most colored or acidic foods, it can sometimes leave our teeth looking a little stained. Thankfully, this is common and correctable. By caring for your teeth with reliable dental care, at-home whitening treatments and being aware of your coffee consumption habits, you can keep your pearly whites looking presentable!

Are you searching for a cup of delicious flavored coffee? You don't have to look far! Visit our Park Avenue cafe, grab a batch of our freshly roasted coffees in-store or allow us to ship you one right to your front door. Browse our inventory of bagged coffee, single-serve cups and teas today!

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