Happy International Caffeine Month! Did you know Americans drink 147 million cups of coffee a year and an average American drinks half a pound of tea per year? Caffeine has many benefits like increasing your memory, decreasing fatigue, and speeding up your reaction time. The downside of caffeine is that coffee and tea can stain your teeth. This occurs when tannins in both tea and coffee build up on tooth enamel and discolor it from its usual bright white!
Tannins are organic substances found in plants. Tannins in coffee, tea and even wine can lead to stains on teeth. According to Crest, “Black teas and dark coffees are the biggest culprits. In fact, some black teas can even cause more tooth discoloration than coffee!”
In addition, coffee can seep into the tiny pores of your teeth and remain there as the coffee cools. When you allow your morning coffee to sit in your teeth for a long period of time, it increments the chance of staining. Besides staining your teeth, coffee and tea can also be very acidic, meaning it weakens the enamel, leading to a higher chance of cavities developing and giving off a yellow appearance.
This does not mean you have to stop drinking caffeine, as there are many ways to care for your teeth and making sure there is prevention from tooth stains and enamel damage.
1. Brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste.
2. See your dentist twice a year for cleanings.
3. Minimize coffee stains on your front teeth by drinking it with a straw.
4. Rinse your mouth after having a cup of coffee or tea.
If yellow stains have already occurred, Dr. Michael Santasiere can assist you and help you resolve problems with your teeth, getting them back to the white color you love. Here is a video with Dr. Santasiere’s solutions.