The Tooth of the Matter: A Dental Blog
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The Tooth of the Matter: A Dental Blog

You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.


The Tooth of the Matter: A Dental Blog

Will Brushing My Teeth After Coffee Help To Prevent Staining?

Sofia Curtis

A strong cup of coffee in the morning is a good way to start your day. Coffee improves concentration and boosts your alertness so is great before a day at the office. But one downside of coffee is that it can stain your teeth. The tannins in coffee are extremely sticky. As you drink coffee, tannins stick to your teeth and tongue, leaving a furry-feeling film. Unfortunately, tannins trap staining molecules.

A regular cup of coffee each day will leave your teeth stained. But will brushing your teeth after every cup of coffee help to keep staining at bay? Yes, but you have to be careful when brushing after a cup of coffee.

Brush too and You'll Damage Your Enamel

Coffee is acidic. The saliva in your mouth is slightly alkaline. This helps your saliva to neutralize acids from food and oral bacteria. Your saliva replenishes your teeth too, adding minerals like calcium and phosphorous to them. But when you add coffee to the mix, especially a large mug of coffee, your saliva can no longer adequately protect your teeth. The environment in your mouth becomes acidic.

This acidic environment softens your tooth enamel, leaving it porous. Your teeth will even lose some mineral content at this time. In this state, your teeth need at least 30 minutes to recover before you begin to brush your teeth. In that time, your enamel will recover and the pH of your saliva will return to a more neutral or alkaline level.

Brush before your teeth have recovered, and you will strip away some of the enamel on your teeth. Wait 30 minutes, and then brush your teeth. That way, you'll protect your teeth and remove the coffee stains.

Drink Water to Stimulate Saliva Flow

Another problem that arises from drinking coffee is reduced saliva flow. As you already know, saliva remineralizes your teeth and helps to protect them against acid. So, one thing you can do before you brush your teeth to remove coffee stains is to drink water. Not only will the water wash away some of the tannins and staining molecules, but it will also help your saliva flow return to pre-coffee levels.

You can also chew some sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production after a coffee. If you carry out these steps correctly, you can both remove stains and protect your teeth against the damage that occurs from the acidic content of coffee.

For more info on teeth whitening, feel free to contact a dentist to learn more.