coffee beansDo you depend on coffee to get you through the day? Is it one cup or five cups? The more you drink, the yellower your teeth may become. It’s not an urban legend. Because of its dark pigment, coffee really can stain teeth. Your Waco cosmetic dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, explains why coffee stains teeth and what coffee drinkers can do to stop or slow it.

So How Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

Coffee is an acidic beverage, and the acid that it contains can wear down enamel. However, that same acid can also kill some of the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Thus, coffee can actually be beneficial in small doses. But if you are exposing your teeth to coffee throughout the day, the acid will do more harm than good. Your teeth’s enamel will begin to erode, exposing the yellower layer of dentin that lies below. In addition to a yellower appearance, exposed dentin also means greater tooth sensitivity to foods and liquids. Because dentin is porous, more irritants will have access to the nerve-filled pulp within the tooth. The loss of enamel will also weaken a tooth’s resistance to coffee’s dark pigment, making staining a likely outcome.

Tips for Coffee Drinkers

Limiting the amount of coffee you drink is the first step you can take in preventing your teeth from yellowing. However, if you can’t manage without coffee, here are a few other tips:

  • Don’t brush immediately after drinking. Brushing this soon after exposing teeth to acids can actually contribute to the erosion of enamel.
  • Rinse your mouth with water. After finishing your coffee, swish some water around to remove some of the residue from your teeth and mouth.
  • Chew gum. Chewing gum triggers your mouth to produce more saliva, which can neutralize some of the residual acids left behind by coffee.

Keep Your Teeth White with Your Waco Dentist

If you have yellow teeth, schedule an appointment to discuss teeth whitening options with your Waco cosmetic dentist, Dr. Locke, by calling 254-776-4888. Our 76172 dental office serves patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.