Understanding Why Coffee Stains The Teeth So Bad

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If you have a slightly beige or yellow smile due to the coffee you drink, you are not alone. Coffee stains on the teeth are an extremely common complaint when individuals speak with a cosmetic dentist. Dental professionals understand this concern and offer a whitening treatment. The best treatments are typically laser assisted ones that force debris away from the dental enamel with the help of an ultraviolet light. While the treatment is highly effective, you may wonder exactly why coffee stains the teeth in the first place and what you can do after a whitening treatment to keep the discoloration from returning. 

Why Does Coffee Stain The Teeth?

While the dental enamel across the teeth may seem completely smooth and free of cracks, this is not the case. Tooth enamel cracks and wears away over time and forms small pits, holes, and ridges. These ridges are the areas where debris can be caught in the teeth. This debris is typically the small bits of debris and coloring agents from the food you eat. 

Coffee specifically has fine and dark colored particles that can easily enter the pits and holes and remain there. These particles are called tannins and they give coffee its brown appearance. While the tannins can make their way into the tooth cracks on their own, they would not normally stain the teeth as much as they do. However, coffee is an acidic substance that softens the tooth enamel when you drink it. When the tooth enamel softens, it is far easier for food particles and coloring agents to stick to the teeth. This is why coffee is especially staining. 

How Can You Prevent New Coffee Stains?

Now that you know why coffee stains the teeth, you may be interested to find out how to stop the tannins from sticking so strongly. While it is wise to brush your teeth after eating a sugary food that is highly pigmented, this is not particularly helpful when it comes to coffee stains. If you brush your teeth while the enamel is soft, like after drinking and acidic substance, then you can harm the enamel. 

Instead of brushing after drinking coffee, rinse your mouth out with water. Swish the fluid around in the mouth for a full five minutes before spitting it out. If you want to brush your teeth, then wait until the tooth enamel is no longer soft. It typically takes about 30 minutes for the enamel to completely harden once again, so you think about quickly brushing with some tartar control toothpaste 30 to 40 minutes after you drink your last cup of coffee. 

For more information, talk to a professional like http://www.accentdentalnwi.com/.