Many people like to rely on their routine, pick-me-up coffee when it comes to kick-starting the day.
If you are among the people who can’t do without their daily dose of caffeine and are left wondering about its effect on your oral health, then this blog is for you. Does the morning beverage that puts a smile on your face each morning actually makes those smiles less brilliant?
Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth?
Many people seem to blame caffeine when it comes to teeth discoloration. In fact, caffeine in its most natural form is a white, odorless powder and has nothing to do with teeth whitening or staining.
Caffeine dissolves completely in liquid beverages without lending any color to them. This can be seen in many caffeine-containing soft drinks that are completely colorless. Also, caffeine cannot be dubbed a “chromogen,” which refers to something that can dye or stain other substances.
So, drinking decaf is not going to prevent your teeth from attaining that yellowish hue. Instead, you need to understand what exactly causes those stains.
So, What Stains Your Teeth?
Tannins are the primary staining pigments present in coffee. In its most natural state, tannins are a part of a plant’s defense system protecting it from herbivores and insects. It has a bitter flavor, which is unpleasant to many insects and animals.
Tannin is present in small quantities in your java and contributes to the flavor and color. It is also the primary reason why you may search for “ways to whiten teeth.” However, tannins are not the only chromogen present in coffee.
There are multiple others that alter the color of things they come in contact with. But, how do these chromogens affect your teeth exactly?
Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but is no match to chromogens in coffee. It helps protects the other layers of your teeth. The problem with enamel is that it is not flat and smooth, but consists of microscopic gaps and ridges.
An extrinsic stain is formed when food and beverage particles get stuck in these gaps. This means that regular coffee discolors the outer layer of your tooth and not the innermost layers. But, if you do not maintain oral hygiene – daily brushing and flossing – then the pigments can start affecting the other layers of your tooth as well.
The stain goes deeper and deeper the more you drink coffee and don’t do anything about it. This leads to an intrinsic stain, which is a lot harder to clean. In severe cases, it may also result in permanent yellowing of your teeth if you do not get a tooth whitening procedure done.
Prevent a “Coffee Smile”
Giving up coffee and other tooth-staining beverages is probably the best way to prevent stained teeth. But, this solution may not be acceptable to many people who rely on coffee breaks throughout the day.
Luckily, there are many steps that you can take to prevent coffee teeth stains. For starters, try drinking your coffee at specific intervals rather than sipping it continuously throughout the day. This gives you time to rinse your mouth to remove the clinging pigments.
You should also consider using whitening toothpaste and consulting your dentist’s office on how to whiten teeth.
Do you think quality dental work is out of your price range? Think again! At Florida Dental Solutions, we provide comprehensive, high-quality dental work at affordable prices. Call us at (954) 362-4102 to learn more about how we can help!