Caffeine in coffee and tea can help you begin your day.
If you are used to taking your dose of caffeine in the morning then it is hard to function without it.
Though unfortunately, drinks like coffee and tea can stain.
They don’t only stain your clothes if spilled, but they can discolor your teeth.
While these are usually extrinsic stains they may not go easily by simply brushing.
If you cannot let go of your coffee and tea then your stains can get permanent and may even stain the dentin.
This article discusses the effect of coffee and tea on your teeth and how you can treat them.
Caffeine in Coffee, Tea and Other Foods
Caffeine is a white crystal stimulant inside coffee and tea.
It provides temporary alertness to the mind and lets you embrace the day with confidence.
Hence, it is slightly addictive and coffee and tea lovers find it really hard to give up.
Coffee and tea also contain tannins.
The composition is as follows:
- 4.6 percent tannic acid and 1.2 percent caffeine in coffee
- 11.2 percent tannic acid and 4.6 percent caffeine in tea
Besides caffeine, tannins also have a negative effect on your teeth.
Both of these can stain and stick to the enamel and erodes it.
Furthermore, it encourages the build-up of plaque.
There is also enough caffeine in your dark chocolate and cocoa mixes used in cupcakes and brownies.
Hence, coffee and tea solely do not impact the teeth with caffeine but so do your everyday energy drinks or the cake you ate today.
Taking about 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day is generally safe but even that will stain your teeth and cause other damages.
Learn about them below!
Effects of Caffeine in Coffee and Tea on Teeth
The yellow-brownish hue of coffee and tea can in fact stick to your teeth and stain them.
First, the stain stays on the tooth enamel but if you continue to drink it without proper oral hygiene, soon it goes beyond that and stains the dentin.
It is hard to remove stains from the dentin and you will need a whitening procedure for that.
Moreover, both tannins and caffeine erode enamel.
This encourages the build-up of bacteria and plaque in the services of teeth causing a tooth cavity.
If you continue drinking coffee then this plaque can turn into stubborn tartar.
Tartar worsens to form gingivitis and periodontal disease.
As these bacteria accumulate, it can cause your enamel to erode and become weak over time.
The weak enamel will be more susceptible to staining and it will result in tooth sensitivity.
Coffee causes more acidity in the mouth.
Due to this, your teeth are more susceptible to decay, enamel erosion as well as bad breath.
You may ask why bad breath though?
Well, that is because acidity increases the number of bacteria inside the mouth.
These bacteria stick to your tongue and cause your breath to smell bad.
Hence, in order for you to keep smelling fine, you will have to reduce your coffee intake or find solutions to these problems.
Solutions to Oral Health Problems
The best solution is to reduce the amount of coffee you take in a day and substitute it with something healthy.
Green tea is a good alternative to coffee and tea.
It is rather healthier and you are rather encouraged to drink 3 to 4 cups in a day.
Though it may not be for you, hence, you should find solutions to oral health problems, caffeine causes while you keep drinking coffee.
One of these problems is bad breath.
You can avoid it by using a tongue scraper or chewing gum after you have had a cup of coffee.
You can also brush after you are done with drinking coffee but wait for some time as it is acidic.
These acids and the abrasive nature of the toothpaste can exacerbate enamel erosion if you start brushing teeth immediately.
Hence, wait for a few minutes preferably half an hour to brush after having coffee and tea.
As far as staining is concerned, you may not see much improvement while brushing with a whitening toothpaste.
Whitening toothpaste can whiten your teeth only up to one shade anyway.
They cannot remove the stubborn yellow-brown stains on your teeth.
Though you can easily remove them in your regular teeth cleaning with the dentist.
Your dentist will perform a basic cleaning and scaling and polishing procedure.
In no time, your stains will be gone.
However, if you have yellow teeth and stubborn stains they may recommend you to get a teeth whitening procedure.
A teeth whitening procedure can be laser teeth whitening or zoom dental whitening.
Both of these do not take longer than 2 hours in the dentist’s office.
Though they can remove stains and keep your teeth white for a longer time.
Laser teeth whitening focuses on each individual tooth whereas Zoom whitening maintains an equal white shade in all of your teeth.
If you prefer trying to whiten teeth at home then you can try some home remedies.
- Using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste
- Oil pulling to remove bacteria and plaque
- Fruit peels (banana, lemon, orange) to remove yellow stain
Use these home remedies to see if they are effective against the stain on your teeth.
You can also try switching from a manual brush to an electric toothbrush.
Electric Toothbrushes are generally better at removing plaque.
Moreover, they have rotating oscillating heads that allow the brush head to reach areas the manual toothbrush cannot.
Therefore, you can remove plaque two times a day with the help of an electric toothbrush before it becomes a stubborn stain.
Moreover, you have the option to try Teeth Whitening Kits at home.
You do not need to visit the dentist for whitening all the time but try whitening kits using their instructions.
Whitening kits are of different kinds. They usually contain:
Whitening strips and gels
Whitening strips are translucent strips that go over your teeth and are full of whitening gel.
The whitening gel contains a peroxide base that helps to whiten the teeth.
You can also apply the gel as it is using a small brush to each of your teeth individually.
Keep the strips on your teeth twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes or as the instruction says.
You will notice some difference in your teeth by 4 weeks and this whitening effect can last as long as 3 months.
Whitening mouth trays come with a peroxide-based gel that you can pour into the mouth tray or mouthguard.
Then you need to wear the mouth tray for about 30 minutes.
Now mouth trays such as the Zoom Professional At-home whitening kit also contain blue light.
This helps to oxidize the peroxide base into oxygen which is directly delivered to the enamel and dentin.
The results can last quite a long time but not as much as a professional in-office procedure.
Your best option for the coffee stains is to go for professional teeth whitening.
You can remove extrinsic stains that are on the surface of the tooth using these at-home procedures.
However, stubborn stains make their way to dentin and you can whiten them using a teeth whitening dental procedure.
This is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in over-the-counter gels is much lower than that found in the dentist’s office.
Remember that all these solutions are temporary.
If you keep drinking coffee, you will keep suffering from these dental problems and can temporarily reduce its impact on teeth.
The best treatment is prevention or limiting intake.
If your teeth are becoming stubbornly yellow and you find yourself hesitant to smile, then it is time you reduce the number of coffee cups you drink in a day.
Look for replacements like green tea which has much less caffeine than coffee and tea.
Though the best option is to resort to drinking water and it is also beneficial for your oral health.
We know that if you are a long-time coffee drinker then it is difficult to quit all of a sudden.
It can affect your productivity and alertness.
Hence, gradually reduce the number of coffee cups you take in a day.
You can also choose to drink it one sitting instead of several small amounts in a day which will keep accumulating bacteria.
Speaking of bacteria, avoiding adding sugar and creamers as that too can increase the bacteria due to caffeine and coffee in your mouth.
If you drink iced coffee then try to make a habit of drinking it with straw instead.
A straw limits contact with your teeth.
Also, drink a glass of water after you are done drinking coffee or tea.
And remember to brush 30 minutes later too.
It is important to not brush immediately as coffee is acidic.
Going to brush immediately will cause the acids to erode the enamel and encourage staining.
Though, you can neutralize the effect of acidic coffee by eating foods that destroy bacteria.
Fruits such as lemon and strawberries will not let bacteria accumulate on your teeth and stain them.
They are also useful in keeping the enamel white.
Caffeine in coffee isn’t great for your teeth.
However, limiting its intake can reduce its negative impact.