Dental Blog

Why Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Many of us can’t go a day without coffee, but the unfortunate truth is that it’s one of the top causes of teeth stains.

Why does that happen, and how can we prevent it? Coffee’s staining ability starts with the tannins it contains. These are chemical compounds, which bond to the proteins that cover your tooth enamel.

It all comes down to enamel. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, but it is not a solid, smooth surface. Enamel contains millions of tiny pits and ridges that can trap food and drink particles. The pigments from dark things we consume (like coffee, tea, beets and soy sauce) can get trapped in those pits, causing stains and a yellowish appearance on teeth.

What can you do? There are a few ways to have both your coffee and your bright smile.

  • Try drinking coffee at one time instead of sipping it throughout the day. After you finish it, rinse with water and then brush thoroughly an hour later.
  • Sip using a straw to prevent direct contact with the surface of your teeth. This trick is probably best saved for iced coffee.
  • Get your teeth professionally cleaned by the dentist can help remove some of the surface stains caused by coffee.