Sipping on a fresh cup of coffee to perk up in the morning is an activity cherished by many. The buzz of caffeine and the familiar taste of your favorite blend is a great way to start your day.
However, consistent coffee intake can leave those pearly whites more than a little lackluster. If you want to keep drinking coffee, but you’re worried about the staining effect it can have on your teeth, here are some tips to keep your pearly whites clean:
Keep good oral health practices
This may seem like common sense, but staining, as well as other oral health issues, can be mitigated by good oral health practices. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and regular dental checkups will go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy and stain-free.
Be wary of brushing your teeth immediately after drinking coffee, however. Coffee is acidic, and acidic drinks soften the tooth enamel. Brushing with soft tooth enamel can actually increase erosion of the enamel as well as your chances of staining. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after drinking coffee, or any other acidic beverage, to brush your teeth.
Additionally, make sure to see your local dentist at least twice a year for professional teeth cleaning. Professional teeth cleaning can reach stain-inducing bacteria that regular home brushing cannot.
Drink water after your cup of coffee
Rinsing your mouth with water is a great way to remove any excess coffee that is sitting in your mouth and on your teeth. Water will help remove staining liquids before they have the chance to set in and cause real damage.
As an added bonus, drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and improve your overall health.
Don’t drink your coffee too slowly
This one is admittedly a little harder to follow. Slowly sipping on a cup of coffee throughout the morning brings a certain pleasure to many avid coffee drinkers. However, be wary that drinking coffee slowly can expose your teeth to a higher risk of staining.
Exposing your teeth to staining liquids for longer periods of time increases the chances of these liquids setting in. Additionally, since coffee is acidic, it will have a greater chance of eroding your teeth enamel and causing staining.
If you do like to sip on your coffee slowly, consider keeping a glass of water with you to drink between occasional coffee sips.
Use a straw for iced coffee and a lid for hot coffee
Straws and lids help reduce the amount of liquid that comes into direct contact with your teeth. The less coffee that touches your teeth, the smaller the chance of staining.
Using mugs and open-top cups are the worst ways to consume coffee and other beverages that are prone to stain teeth.
Chewing gum helps generate saliva, which in turn can wash away staining acids and bacteria-harboring plaque.
It’s not a bad idea to pop in a piece of gum after finishing your morning cup; just make sure it’s sugarless!