How to Prevent Coffee Stains on Teeth

Pouring cream into coffee.

About 64% of American adults drink a cup of coffee daily. Many people drink coffee for the caffeine jolt to get the day started or push through a mid-day slump. For others, it is a social experience with a friend or family member. Although people love their java, a common problem is that it stains their teeth. Scientists say that for people who drink one or two cups of joe daily, the coffee can lightly discolor tooth surfaces. But for those who drink more than that, the coffee can seep deep into the enamel, leaving dark stains. Review five tips on how to prevent coffee stains on teeth.

  1. Brush and floss daily

    You may be surprised to learn that brushing and flossing your teeth helps remove coffee stains. The foods you eat can combine with oral bacteria and form plaque that sticks to your teeth. Coffee can stain this plaque, creating unsightly brown patches. Brushing your teeth twice daily, for two minutes each time, and flossing once a day can help keep plaque under control. Make sure to schedule regular dental appointments for teeth cleanings and checkups to remove plaque. Otherwise, it can build up between teeth and along your gums, causing decay.

  1. Add milk

    Drinking coffee or tea with milk can help prevent teeth staining. Milk contains casein, a protein that can eliminate coffee stains. Coffee experts say that the lighter your coffee, the less likely you will see stains on your teeth.

  1. Whiten teeth

    Mix two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of baking soda to make a homemade teeth-whitening paste. If the paste is too gritty, it can scratch tooth enamel, so add a few more drops of peroxide, and brush gently for a couple of minutes. Learn more about using baking soda to whiten your teeth.

  1. Use a straw

    Drinking hot or cold coffee through a straw helps prevent stains from settling on your teeth. Using a metal straw is a better option than plastic or paper styles. The metal will not melt, and it is better for the environment.

  1. Drink vs. sip

    Sipping a cup of joe while getting ready for work is a relaxing way to start your day. But scientists say it is better to down coffee quickly, so it does not sit on your teeth.

    After finishing your coffee, swish some clean water over your teeth to prevent coffee stains from sticking. It also helps to chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva in your mouth to naturally clean tooth surfaces.

    Did you know that oil pulling can help remove harmful bacteria and keep your teeth clean, too? Find out how this practice can benefit your dental health.