3 Tips to Prevent Coffee Stains on TeethA cup of coffee--or two or three--is an essential part of the morning for many people. And now that coffee is considered a superfood for its many health benefits, we can consume it (almost) guilt-free. The "almost" is that nagging feeling you have about what it's doing to your pearly white teeth.
Guess what? In addition to making you more alert and lowering your risk of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, early evidence shows that coffee may be beneficial for your teeth by preventing bone loss in the jaw, while green coffee has antibacterial properties that may help protect the gums.
But what about coffee stains on your teeth? Coffee not only can discolor the protective tooth enamel, but also can stain resins, which are tooth-colored materials used to fill cavities and replace chipped teeth.
Rather than being smooth, enamel has tiny holes and ridges that coffee (and other dark drinks or foods, such as red wine) can settle into, which causes staining.
Three tips to prevent coffee stains on your teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry:
1. Sip coffee through a straw.
2. Rinse with water.
3. Wait a half-hour to brush your teeth.
"Coffee in moderation has many nutritional benefits, (but) five cups a day should be the limit," explains Nasir Bashirelahi, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore. "It is a stimulant, so be sure to stop drinking it early enough so it doesn't interfere with sleep. For most people, because coffee may help prolong life, the benefits outweigh the risks, such as tooth staining."