Brewing Up the Truth (Does Coffee Really Stain Your Teeth?)

, , ,
Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
Does Coffee Really Stain Your Teeth? (Person Sipping Coffee) | My Dental Advocate

Have you ever wondered why your teeth appear yellow or brown despite practicing good oral hygiene?

Your daily coffee habit could be the culprit.

Unfortunately, while coffee has numerous benefits, including maximizing focus and attention, it’s also known to cause tooth discoloration.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the science behind coffee stains, the different types of tooth discoloration, and ways to prevent and treat coffee stains.

Need Dental Advice? Ask Dr. Hannan!

 Recommended Reading: Teeth Staining | The Ultimate Guide

Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

Yes, coffee can stain teeth. The pigments in coffee can cause extrinsic tooth discoloration, which means the staining occurs on the tooth’s surface.

However, the extent to which coffee stains teeth can vary depending on several factors, such as the frequency of consumption and strength of the coffee.

Dentist Recommendation: I recommend drinking coffee with meals can also help to minimize the staining effect, as the saliva produced during eating can help to wash away the pigments.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

As a dentist, I’ve seen many patients concerned about their teeth’ color.

There are two main types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic tooth discoloration refers to staining on the tooth’s surface, while intrinsic discoloration occurs when the tooth’s inner structure is discolored. So what causes tooth discoloration? Here are some of the most common culprits:

According to a recent study, bathing teeth in soda or orange juice before coffee immersion caused severe tooth discoloration.

Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration

Foods and Drinks: Certain foods and drinks can cause extrinsic tooth discoloration, including coffee, tea, red wine, soda, and berries. These items contain chromogens, pigments that stick to the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) and cause staining.

Tobacco Use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause extrinsic tooth discoloration, as well as a host of other oral health problems.

Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth, leading to discoloration.

Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration

Aging: As we age, the enamel on our teeth becomes thinner, which can cause the yellowish dentin underneath to show through.

Trauma: Trauma to the tooth, such as a fall or other injury, can cause the tooth to become discolored.

Medications: Some medications, such as tetracycline and certain antihistamines, can cause intrinsic tooth discoloration.

It’s important to note that many people may have a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic stains, and the type and severity of staining can vary widely from person to person.

A dental professional can evaluate your situation and provide personalized recommendations based on your needs and goals.

Recommended Reading: Does matcha stain teeth?

Common Coffee Facts | My Dental Advocate

How Does Coffee Cause Tooth Discoloration?

Now that we’ve covered the different types of tooth discoloration let’s take a closer look at how coffee, in particular, can cause extrinsic tooth stains.

Key Features

  • Coffee contains pigments called chromogens, which are notorious for their ability to stick to the enamel of your teeth and cause discoloration.
  • Coffee is also acidic, eroding the enamel and making your teeth more vulnerable to staining.
  • The hotter the coffee, the more likely it is to stain your teeth. Hot liquids can soften the enamel, making it more susceptible to staining.
  • The darker the roast of coffee, the more likely it is to stain your teeth. Dark roasts have higher concentrations of chromogens than lighter roasts.
  • Drinking coffee through a straw can help reduce the amount of contact the coffee has with your teeth, reducing the risk of staining.
  • Brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with water after drinking coffee can help remove residual coffee from your teeth, reducing the risk of staining.

By understanding these factors, you can make more informed choices about your coffee consumption and take steps to prevent extrinsic tooth stains.

In the next section, we’ll explore some tips for preventing coffee stains and removing them if they occur.

5 Methods to Prevent Coffee Stains

If you’re concerned about coffee stains on your teeth, you can do a few things to prevent them from occurring. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your coffee without sacrificing your smile:

According to a recent study, coffee and wine caused enamel color changes; however, wine caused more significant staining than coffee.

1. Use a Straw

Drinking coffee through a straw can help minimize contact between the coffee and your teeth, reducing the risk of staining.

This is particularly effective if you position the straw towards the back of your mouth, which limits the amount of coffee that comes into contact with your front teeth.

2. Rinse Your Mouth with Water

Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking coffee can help wash away residual coffee and prevent staining.

You can also swish with an antiseptic mouthwash to freshen your breath and reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.

3. Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth after drinking coffee can help remove any surface stains and prevent them from embedding in your enamel.

If you can’t brush right away, try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production, which can help neutralize acids in your mouth.

Recommended Reading: Best Electric Toothbrush Under $50 2024

4. Professional Teeth Cleaning

Regular dental cleanings can help remove any surface stains on your teeth, including those caused by coffee.

In addition, a dental hygienist can use special tools to clean your teeth and remove any built-up plaque or tartar that could contribute to staining.

Recommended Reading: Best Whitening Toothpaste Review 2024

5. Teeth Whitening Treatments

Professional teeth whitening treatments can help remove those stains and restore your smile if your teeth are already stained.

Various options include in-office treatments, take-home kits, and over-the-counter products. Your dentist can help you choose the best choice for your needs.

Recommended Reading: Best At-Home Whitening Review 2024

Best Whitening Products

Best Overall
Award-Winning Teeth Whitening Kit by SNOW

SNOW's bestselling teeth whitening kit combines their advanced whitening serum with LED light technology for professional-level results. Whiten your teeth in as little as 9 minutes a day.

Formulated with expert cosmetic dentist Dr. Brian Harris. Their teeth whitening kit protects your pearly whites while removing tough surface stains. Recommend by 9 out of 10 dentists (DentalAdvisor).

Deep stains don’t stand a chance. Their advanced proprietary whitening gel formula erases stains, fast. We use the same active ingredients as dentists. Their teeth whitening products are powered by hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

These powerful whitening agents combined with LED light provide the ultimate whitening solution.

Buy Now Our Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Whitening Toothbrush
The LED Electric Teeth Whitening Toothbrush by SNOW

Meet the 2022 NEW BEAUTY® Award Winner!

Equipped with blue LED light for whitening support and sonic technology for better cleaning, this toothbrush leaves your smile whiter and brighter.

And, with 4 unique modes, your new toothbrush customizes each brushing session to exactly what you need: Clean, Whiten, Polish, and Sensitive. 

Buy Now Our Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Whitening Trays
BURST Teeth Whitening Trays (Code: UF4JEC for 30% Off)

Custom-fit feel trays visibly brighten smiles in 15 minutes daily, with dramatic results after just 1 week.

Created by hygienists and dentists and formulated with 12.5% hydrogen peroxide for professional-grade whitening. All 7 treatments come prefilled and ready to work their magic. No more whitening guesswork!

Clean, vegan, ingredients that are gentle on enamel but tough on stains. Whitens up to 6 shades in just 7 days.*

Buy Now Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

loader-image

Coffee can cause permanent staining of the teeth, but it depends on a number of factors, such as the frequency and strength of coffee consumption, oral hygiene practices, and individual variations in tooth enamel. However, with proper preventive measures and professional dental cleanings, you can reduce the risk of permanent staining and maintain a healthy smile.

No, it’s not the caffeine in coffee that stains your teeth. The pigments in coffee, known as chromogens, are responsible for causing extrinsic tooth stains. These pigments are able to stick to the enamel of your teeth and cause discoloration.

It’s difficult to say exactly how long it takes for coffee to stain teeth, as this can vary depending on factors such as the frequency of consumption, strength of the coffee, and individual variations in tooth enamel. However, as a general rule, the more frequently you consume coffee and the darker the roast, the more likely it is to cause staining over time.

My Experience & Expertise

As a dentist with years of experience, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of coffee and other foods and drinks on dental health.

While coffee is a common culprit of tooth discoloration, it’s just one of many factors that can contribute to staining and discoloration. You can maintain a bright and healthy smile by understanding the causes of tooth discoloration and taking proactive steps to prevent and treat staining.

If you’re concerned about coffee stains or other issues related to dental health, I encourage you to contact a dental professional. A dentist can evaluate your teeth and provide personalized recommendations based on your unique needs and circumstances.

Whether you need a regular dental cleaning or a more advanced treatment, a dentist can help you achieve the best possible outcomes.

Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!

Sources


author avatar
Dr. Advocate Founder/Owner
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

About the Author

Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

Matt Hannan, DDS Signature | My Dental Advocate

Connect with Dr. Hannan!

Gain Clarity with Our FREE Second Opinion Guide

Unsure About Your Dental Diagnosis?

Receive clear, expert second opinions online within 48 hours. Start today!

5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
“My five-year-old son was experiencing severe pain in his mouth and jaw region that required me to pull him from school and take him to his on-call doctor. We didn’t receive any official answers from his doctor visit but My Dental Advocate service was so helpful! Utilizing this service gave me peace of mind as a mother.”
(Received Clarity)
Krista
Arizona
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
“I reached out to My Dental Advocate for a second opinion after finding them online. They quickly responded with a full report informing me that they agreed with the findings and even explained why it needed to be extracted. I highly recommend them for an online second opinion!”
(Saved $3000)
Rita
Texas
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
“I was on an extended trip traveling for work, and went to a corporate dental office that I was unfamiliar with. Upon performing an x-ray, they identified a few inclusions and were pressing me to schedule. With My Dental Advocate, I was able to get a second opinion and feel more confident about the urgency of treatment.”
(Received Clarity)
Michael
California

Product Reviews

Our 250+ dental product reviews (and counting), curated by an experienced dentist, are the most comprehensive online.

Toothbrush Genie

State-of-the-art chatbot designed to help you discover your perfect toothbrush in just a few simple steps!

Cavity Risk Assessment

Cutting-edge digital tool designed to evaluate your individual cavity risk based on your responses to a series of questions.

Gum Disease Assessment

Discover your gum disease risk with our quick and engaging 6-question assessment!

Product Reviews
Blog Posts
Money Saved

Easiest Second Opinion, Ever!

  • Confidently upload x-rays (plus any other documents) to a board-certified dentist via HIPAA-secure email.
  • Within 48 hours, you receive an expert second opinion affirming your current treatment plan or recommending alternative treatment options.