If you drink coffee, then you may know that the beverage stains the teeth quite aggressively. While most coffee drinkers fully understand this fact, very few individuals are actually willing to give up their favorite beverage. If this describes you, then you may do everything you can to prevent the staining. However, this can lead to some mistakes that can actually cause more significant general and cosmetic dental issues. Keep reading to learn about the mistakes and also to find out what you really should be doing instead.
Mistake - Brushing Immediately After Drinking Coffee
If you want to keep dental stains from sinking into the cracks and crevices of your teeth, then you may decide to brush immediately after drinking your coffee. However, this is something that you should avoid. Coffee is an acidic beverage that can soften the enamel as you consume it. When the enamel is soft, it can be scratched fairly easily. This means that the bristles of your toothbrush as well as the abrasive agents in the paste can release small bits of your teeth.
Enamel damage can reduce the strength of your teeth. Also, as the enamel thins, the more beige looking dentin may become exposed. This can actually make your teeth look more discolored.
Instead of brushing after you consume coffee, try rinsing the mouth out with water. The water helps to wash away the dark coloring agents that allow coffee to stain. You can rinse your mouth thoroughly once you are done with your daily mug of the beverage or you can drink water as you consume the coffee. For example, take one sip of water after one sip of coffee to help force the coffee debris away.
Mistake - Using A Straw
You may have heard about using a straw as you drink coffee in your attempt to keep the beverage from coming into direct contact with your teeth. While this does seem to make sense, the coffee will still come into contact with the backs of the teeth as well and the back molars. These areas of the mouth will then become stained. Since enamel is translucent, some of the staining on the back or sides of the teeth can easily show through to the fronts of them.
Also, your tongue is responsible for moving foods and beverages around the mouth. Even if you use a straw, your tongue will shift some of the coffee around and it will come into contact with the teeth.
Instead of using a straw in an attempt to keep the coffee away from your teeth, try chewing some gum after drinking the coffee. Sugar-free gum helps to encourage the production of saliva that will rinse can clean the coffee from the teeth. It is also important to meet with your dentist regularly to talk about dental damage and cosmetic whitening options.