Let me guess, you need a few cups of coffee to get through your day but you’re worried about unattractive brown spots left on your teeth. You aren’t alone. Stained teeth are a real concern for coffee drinker everywhere. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to avoid the dreaded coffee stains.
Adding Creamer Doesn’t Help
Many people believe that adding creamer or milk to coffee will reduce the coloring of the stains. Their thinking is that by lightening the color of the coffee, it will also lighten the color of the stain, making them less visible. This prevalent thought is a myth. Coffee stains occur when the tannins (a type of acid) in the coffee bind to the enamel on your tooth and discolor it. Adding any dairy product will do nothing to reduce that effect.
In fact, adding a creamer to your drink is even worse for your teeth. The sugar in the cream can cause plaque to form on your teeth, creating another oral hygiene problem.
Drink Water Along With Coffee
Pouring a glass of water to drink along side your coffee is an easy way to protect your teeth. The water will wash the coffee off of your enamel, so stains do not have time to form. It will also flush out any coffee remnants left in your mouth. If you enjoy a sugary creamer in your morning beverage, the water will boost your saliva’s capability to break down the sugar, avoiding the plaque build up that could occur otherwise.
Drink Through a Straw
Using a straw with your coffee reduces the amount of contact the drink has with your teeth. Since the stains occur when the coffee builds up on a tooth’s enamel, sipping through a straw will avoid this problem. The method is not perfect, as your molars will still be stained, but your front teeth should be spared any brown marks.
Using a straw is already pretty common while drinking iced coffee, but this tip can also apply to drinking hot coffee as well. If you are worried about drinking a hot beverage through plastic, there are dozens of metal straws made specifically for coffee on the market. Just be sure that your drink is not too hot, as it is easier to burn your tongue using this method.
Drink a Bit Quicker
To be clear, you should never chug a hot beverage of any kind. But, you also should not sip on coffee throughout the whole day. The small but constant contact of coffee on your teeth will cause more damage than drinking it all at once. Always be conscious of how long it takes you to finish that cup of joe, and try to slowly shorten that time frame.
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