Are you someone who loves to drink coffee? I know I am. In fact, I would never want anyone to take coffee away from me. I love it that much. Problem is…coffee causes stains on teeth. No worries. I am about to tell you how to remove coffee stains on your teeth an easy way. You can continue to enjoy coffee like I do and not have to worry about it changing the color of your teeth or accumulating ugly stains. Coffee has a place in your diet and research shows there are many health benefits from drinking it regularly. So let’s keep drinking it and learn how to manage the stains!
Stain does not cause any dental disease. It does not cause cavities. It does not cause gum disease. However, it is pretty unsightly and no one wants to look at it in the mirror when they smile (let alone let others see it!) As a dental hygienist, I see more stain on the teeth I clean than I see tartar buildup. There are many ways to deal with this. In this article, I will give you your best options and an easy hack for achieving your pearliest white teeth. I will also give you advice on some enamel damaging practices to avoid at all costs when trying to remove coffee and other stains.
What Causes Stain On Your Teeth?
Stains are most often caused by the beverages we drink. Coffee is a big culprit. They can also occur from certain foods we eat but to a much lesser extent. Food stains are more easily and readily removed with simple oral hygiene techniques. The stain caused from liquids however can be a more in-depth (intrinsic) type of stain and is harder to deal with.
Within certain drinks such as coffee, tea and wine is a compound called tannins. It is these tannins that allow color to cause stains on your teeth. I will explain. First let’s look at what tannins are. They are organic polyphenol plant compounds that are present in coffee. Tannins are also known as gallotannic acid. Not only are they found in coffee, they are also found in wine, beer, tea and fruit juices. Color compounds can stick to your teeth because of tannins. When this happens, it leaves behind a yellowish color on your teeth.
Tannins are thought to be a natural defense mechanism of plants. By this, I mean a way to help the plant survive by preventing its predators from eating it. This compound gives coffee its bitterness. Wikipedia explains them as: “Tannins (or tannoids) are a class of astringent, polyphenolic biomolecules that bind to and precipitate proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.”
Now, for How to Remove Coffee Stains on Your Teeth…
I want to tell you the best ways to remove coffee stains plus one easy hack that I think you will find useful. The very best way to remove stains is to have a professional dental cleaning by your dental hygienist. Your dental professional will use a series of tools and instruments to gently and effectively eliminate stain from your teeth. This procedure also includes polishing of your teeth. Polishing removes stains but it also creates a nice, smooth finish to your enamel. This makes it hard for bacteria and stains to reattach to your teeth. It is best to visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning every 6 months.
Using the right tools at home can help a great deal too. The absolute easiest way to remove stain at home is by using an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes will provide you with 30,000 to 50,000 brush strokes per minute. This is quite an advantage over the mere 500 brushstrokes per minute that you can achieve with a manual toothbrush. Read a related article for help to choose the best electric toothbrush for your needs.
An oral irrigator will reach areas between your teeth better than floss can. Coffee and other tannin containing beverages stain in between your teeth easier than other areas that your toothbrush can reach. Because the beverages are liquid, they flow freely between your teeth and because of the tannins, stains are left behind. This is why the majority of stains occur between your teeth.
Floss is a great tool to clean between and so are interdental brushes if you have trouble using floss. Follow a guide to proper flossing technique for best results. There is also an innovative new product on the market today that allows you to brush and floss your teeth at the same time. This is the new Waterpik Sonic-Fusion and it takes care of brushing and flossing with one easy to use product.
By keeping the areas between your teeth plaque free, you will effectively be reducing the amount of tartar accumulation that forms there. Tartar attracts stain. By reducing the amount of tartar on your teeth, you will drastically cut down on the amount of stain you will acquire. By using the best tartar control toothpaste, you will effectively reduce stain accumulation.
What Is the Hack?
I am going to discuss other products with you that will prevent and remove coffee stains. These products will be good for whatever kinds of stain you have on your teeth. This includes not only coffee, but wine, tea and tobacco as well. Before I go into all your options, I want to tell you about a simple hack or trick you can use if you want to remove a surface stain.
You simply use a wooden toothpick that is moistened on the end with water. Once the tip is moistened, you can soften up the pointed tip by pressing down against a hard surface with it. I recommend pressing the moistened tip against the bottom of your clean sink or counter top. Once the tip is moist and softened, dip the toothpick into baking soda to allow the tip to be coated with it.
Next, find an area on your teeth where there is a noticeable surface stain. This could be an area like between your two front teeth or on the fronts of your canines. It could be anywhere you see a stain when you smile that you would like to get rid of. Using the toothpick coated in baking soda, you can gently and carefully rub the stain until it disappears. I stress being careful because if you apply too much pressure or slip, you could easily poke yourself with the toothpick causing damage to your gum tissue.
This is a quick and useful tip many of my patients have used for unsightly stains that occur between dental visits. You should always check with your dental professional before implementing any changes to your home care routine to make sure it is right for you. Simply by brushing with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (3%) a few times a week can be beneficial too. You can moisten your toothbrush by dipping it in hydrogen peroxide. Then, dip it into baking soda to coat your bristles. Brush as you normally would for a full two minutes.
A chemical reaction occurs between baking soda and hydrogen. Each of these ingredients are safe, effective and easily accessible from home. A bleaching action occurs from the hydrogen peroxide (3%) and baking soda has stain lifting properties. This can also be applied with a cotton swab instead of your toothbrush. Brushing with baking soda and rinsing separately with hydrogen peroxide afterwards will not give you the same results. It is the chemical action of mixing the two ingredients together that makes it effective.
Never swish regularly with hydrogen peroxide. This can be too harsh on your tissues and it is known to harm the delicate balance between good and bad bacteria in your mouth. There needs to be a balance between the bacteria in your mouth. This is called your microbiome and it is important to maintain to prevent oral issues and disease like bad breath, cavities and gum disease. You can learn more about protecting your oral microbiome with the use of oral probiotics.
What Else Works to Get Rid of Coffee Stains?
n addition to removing the surface stains that arise from coffee and other things we eat and drink, you can bleach your teeth. Bleaching will achieve an over-all lightening effect. This can be beneficial to those of us who have had a lifelong habit of drinking coffee. After years of exposure, the enamel takes on an intrinsic (or internal) yellowish appearance.
No worries, this type of stain responds quite easily and effectively to bleaching products. Your dentist can provide you with a professional form fitted bleach tray or you can try an over the counter product. The products you can purchase on your own come in the form of strips or bleach gels applied in trays. These products contain the ingredient carbamide peroxide. This is the same ingredient your dental office will provide. However, professional dental products contain a higher percentage of this active ingredient and will give you faster results.
Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Whitestrips are the first and only whitening strips accepted by the American Dental Association. You can feel confident that purchasing this over the counter product will give you safe and effective results. Make sure the product has the ADA seal of acceptance. This is verification that the product is safe to use and will measure up to its claims. This is a valuable sign indicating the quality of a product.
There is another product that is very effective and is sold over the counter and through dental offices. This is the Opalescence Go 15% kit. It comes with trays that can be form fitted to your teeth and provides bleaching of all your teeth versus the Whitestrips which cover just your front teeth.
If you want a kit that has a higher percentage of the active ingredient (also can be purchased for at home or through your dental office), there is another option. Opalescence PF 35% is easily customized to each person. You may only have certain teeth you would like to bleach versus your whole mouth. This product is a complete at home whitening treatment system that allows you to dispense a gel from a syringe into form fitted trays. This product gives you faster results due to the increased percentage of carbamide peroxide that it contains.
What Should You Avoid
If you want to try a good overall toothpaste to remove surface stains. I would highly recommend Colgate Total Tartar Control toothpaste. By first and foremost preventing tartar from forming on your teeth, you will be way ahead of the stain formation process in the first place. As I mentioned earlier, tartar will attract stain. Colgate Total Tartar Control toothpaste will also keep new stains from attaching to your teeth with its combination of stannous fluoride and zinc.
Please avoid the latest craze of charcoal containing toothpastes. You have to be very careful when choosing one of these products. Most are too abrasive and can cause your teeth to appear darker in the long run. The reason for this is due to the fact that enamel can wear thin with the regular use of an abrasive toothpaste. This allows for the underlying tooth structure called dentin to shine through easily. Dentin is a yellowish-brownish color. Trust me, you want to preserve your outer enamel layer the best you can. Read a related article about the dangers of charcoal toothpastes.
If you have sensitive teeth and would like your teeth to be whiter, you do not have many options of toothpastes to choose from. There are not many products out there that will address both of these issues. Dental professionals do have a few recommendations when it comes to combining whitening toothpastes with annoying sensitivity.
Please remember not to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming coffee. Coffee is acidic and will soften your enamel when you drink it. You need to give your saliva time to remineralize your enamel after an acid attack. If you brush within 30 minutes, you can wear away the protective enamel layer. To help prevent stains after drinking coffee, it is best to rinse with water. This will dilute the stain forming properties (tannins) and neutralize acids from coffee consumption.
You can still enjoy your coffee and not worry about accumulating stain on your teeth. Now you know how to remove coffee stains on your teeth and an easy hack to quickly get rid of them. I encourage you to try the tips outlined in this article if stain from coffee is an issue for you. Don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Please leave any questions and comments below and I would be happy to help!
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