Has Your Daily Cup of Tea (or Coffee) Caused Stained Teeth? Here’s What to Do

Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Has Your Daily Cup of Tea (or Coffee) Caused Stained Teeth? Here’s What to Do

If you’re like many people, you enjoy a cup of coffee (or two or three) every day. Unfortunately, drinking coffee —as well as tea, wine, or other dark beverages like cola— can cause stained teeth. There’s no need to worry, though: Your dentist can help you restore your pearly whites. Better yet, you won’t even have to give up your favorite drinks!

The cosmetic dentists at Penn Dental Family Practice offer several treatment options to remove deep stains from teeth and leave you with a bright, white, and healthy smile. And, with a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can maintain the results and feel more confident about your smile.

Why You Don’t Have to Give Up Coffee and Tea (Even If You Have Stained Teeth)

Group of multiracial friends enjoy coffee together at a local coffee shop.

Although it could be argued that the best way to prevent discolored teeth is to stop drinking staining beverages, that’s not always a practical (or desirable) solution. Quite the contrary, drinking tea is actually quite good for you and your dental health. Researchers have found that black tea combats two types of bacteria that are associated with tooth decay and gum disease. Green tea does the same, and even has a compound that can help you get rid of bad breath.

Researchers have also found evidence that coffee can be beneficial to oral health, provided it’s consumed without extra added sugar. Drinking coffee daily can help prevent cavities and support gum health. In fact, one study shows that drinking coffee every day could actually help slow the progression of periodontitis (gum disease).

Consuming tea and coffee also offers other health benefits, including protection against certain types of cancer and heart disease. Of course, all of these benefits do come with the side effect of stained teeth. Luckily, just a few simple changes can prevent deep stains and tooth discoloration, so you can continue enjoying these timeless treats.

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The Basics of Preventing Tooth Discoloration for Coffee Drinkers

You can take steps to ensure that your teeth stay white even around the time you drink your coffee or tea:

  • Rinse out your mouth with water after drinking tea, coffee, wine, or soda.
  • Add some milk or cream. Lightening your drink can reduce staining, and the compounds in milk products neutralize acids that can harm tooth enamel.
  • Brush and floss daily to remove plaque, a major cause of tooth discoloration.
  • Brush your teeth with baking soda. It won’t bleach your teeth, but it can remove surface stains. Using a paste of baking soda and salt twice a week can improve tooth whiteness over the long run.
  • Get a quality toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is more effective for cleaning off plaque and tartar than a manual one.
  • Use a straw when drinking cold beverages that could stain your teeth, like iced tea or cola.
  • Learn about foods you can eat that naturally whiten teeth!

Should You Whiten Your Teeth at Home or at the Dentist’s Office?

A Black woman pours herself a cup of hot tea at home .

If you’re wondering how to remove stains from your teeth, you aren’t alone. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, 90% of patients asked for teeth whitening!

When you have stained teeth, using an over-the-counter whitening product from the drugstore can remove some of the discoloration. However, at-home whitening products aren’t as strong as the ones your dentist uses. That said, if your teeth are healthy and the staining isn’t too deep, you might see some improvement with whitening strips or other home treatments.

For more noticeable and longer-lasting results, a professional whitening treatment is a better option. Having your teeth whitened in the dentist’s office is also more effective than home whitening if you have badly stained teeth or tooth and gum sensitivity.

Dentists have multiple solutions to choose from depending on the condition of your teeth and your desired results. One in-office procedure uses a custom-made tray and a bleaching solution. The dentist places the tray over your teeth, and sometimes uses light or heat to speed up the procedure. Other patients receive take-home whitening kits that include a bleaching solution and detailed instructions.

In most cases, in-office procedures work more quickly and with less irritation than take-home kits. Either way, you can expect dazzling results, without any sign of your daily coffee or tea habit.

Penn Dental Family Practice offers an array of whitening solutions for stained teeth, no matter how deep the discoloration may be. Learn more about your options, and request an appointment here, and get ready to flash a bright, white smile!