Coffee is one of the most common beverages around the world, but it’s no secret that this wildly popular beverage is infamous for staining teeth! A group of molecules called polyphenols are responsible for this staining—they effectively get stuck on your porous enamel. While some people find that regular brushing removes these stains, long-term coffee drinkers often have deeper staining that requires a professional whitening to remove. You don’t have to give up coffee to have a white smile—here’s how you can have both!
Choose 100% Arabica Coffee
When choosing your coffee, always select coffee that’s made from 100% Arabica beans. You’d ideally want these beans to be dry-processed; this enables them to have less polyphenols that can stain your smile. Arabica coffee also tends to have less caffeine than other types, which means less jitters for you and a whiter smile—a win-win!
Don’t Sip All Day—Or Choose Smaller Serving Sizes
The exposure of your teeth to these polyphenols is what actually causes the staining, so it makes sense that the less time your teeth are exposed to coffee, the less staining you’ll experience. If you’re an all-day coffee drinker, you’re likely to experience the deeper staining that comes with coffee drinking!
Try to limit the amount of time your teeth are exposed to coffee—you can achieve this by limiting yourself to one or two cups in the morning, and then refraining from taking a to-go cup with you to work. You may also choose smaller serving sizes, such as having an espresso rather than a big cup of joe!
Drink with a Straw (Iced Coffee)
Drinking coffee with a straw allows the coffee to effectively bypass your teeth but still allows you to enjoy your favorite beverage. Although drinking hot coffee with a straw is usually not an option, this practice is perfect for iced coffee! You can also choose to enjoy your iced coffee with some milk, a practice that will also help prevent the polyphenols from staining your teeth. Consider opting for iced coffee more often, especially in these warmer months!
Try a French Press
How you brew your coffee can affect the polyphenol content of your morning beverage. If you use powdered coffee or very finely ground coffee, you could be exposing your smile to more of these stain-inducing molecules! Instead, try a French press. This method of brewing is relatively inexpensive—you’ll need to purchase a French press, some only cost $10-$12.
Many people find that using a French press allows more of the coffee’s natural flavor to come through. You’ll also save money on coffee filters and your smile won’t experience as much staining. This is because when using a French press, coarser coffee is used. Give it a try for a whiter smile!
If your teeth are severely stained from coffee, regular brushing may remove the superficial portion of the stains but won’t remove the deeper ones. A professional whitening with your dentist takes only an hour and can remove those unsightly coffee stains for good. After that, try these methods to prevent staining in the future and enjoy your coffee—with a white smile!