The love/hate relationship between coffee and our teeth
We love coffee! It wakes us up in the morning and keeps us going throughout the day. Most of us can’t live without our daily dose of caffeine to jump start the day. However, the beverage that puts a smile on our faces could also make those smiles less appealing. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the adverse effects of coffee on our teeth, and with this knowledge, everyone will be able to maintain their bright smiles.
How does coffee stain teeth?
Because the tooth enamel is made up of a matrix of crystal-like rods that resemble microscopic pits, food and beverages can get locked onto the tooth’s surface. Over time, the retained plaque can cause staining that can permeate the teeth, causing the teeth to present a dull colour.
How can we avoid stains from coffee?
Although the best way to prevent coffee stains is by giving up coffee altogether, this is not an acceptable solution for those of us who rely on coffee every day. Therefore, instead of going cold turkey, it is advised that you address the frequency of your caffeine intake. Sipping on a cup of coffee and drinking water in between can dramatically reduce the amount of coffee staining on teeth.
Tips for stain-free teeth
1. If you are going to drink a staining beverage, do so with a straw. Straws reduce the amount of the drink that washes against your teeth and stains them.
2. The outside of your teeth is an ideal surface for stains to adhere to. Therefore, it is important that you clean your teeth after every cup of coffee, by rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash.
3. Don’t smoke. Smoking causes a myriad of health problems, and it may also stain your teeth far beyond that of caffeine.
The relationship we have with coffee does not have to affect the appearance of our smiles, especially when we can visit a dentist for regular teeth cleaning or whitening. Contact a dentist in Cape Town for more information.