Got coffee stains? We've got some tips to help you prevent them!

Got coffee stains? We've got some tips to help you prevent them!

We live in a city where sitting in a coffee shop with friends (or a good book) and drinking our daily coffee or tea is a part of the culture. I love this about Seattle. The only thing I don’t love is the pesky stain it leaves behind on teeth. The stain isn’t usually hard to remove and most of the time, it's on the insides of your teeth and hardly visible. In some cases, for whatever reason, the stain sticks everywhere! I can’t ask you to quit eating or drinking the things you enjoy, especially because I myself am not willing to give up my Starbucks, but at least I can give you some tips for preventing or minimizing it.

Before we get into that I should let you know that it’s not just coffee and tea that stain. Here are some other things that are notorious for staining.

·         Red wine

·         Blueberries

·         Dark sodas

·         Soy sauce

·         Betel leaf

·         Stannous fluoride (found in some toothpastes and mouth rinses)

·         Tobacco

·         Plaque and tarter build-up

Homecare will also play a huge part in how much stain sticks on your teeth. Here are some of my best stain eliminating, or at least minimizing, tips.

·         Use a straw. Kind of dorky but it directs your drinks past your teeth giving no opportunity to stain.

·          Water. Sip it all day or swish after. This lowers the pH of your saliva and washes away any remnants.

·         Brush after. Be careful not to scrub. Acidic drinks make your enamel soft and brushing hard right after can brush away small amounts of enamel. Instead, swish with water first and then brush gently.

·         Chew gum or suck on sugar free candies. These stimulate saliva flow which is a natural tooth cleaner!

·         Drink it all at once so you aren’t continually bathing your teeth in it.

·         Sonicare. My favorite toothbrush. The Sonicare does most of the work for you. The vibration of the brush in combination with paste creates little bubbles that rupture and give you that extra clean feeling.

·         And of course regular cleanings with your favorite dental hygienist.

Please keep in mind that some stains are intrinsic, genetic or developmental and may require bleaching to brighten your smile but that is a topic for another blog post!