For many individuals, there is a constant internal battle between having pearly white teeth and enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine. As you may already know, these beverages can stain your teeth over time if you consume them regularly. If you can’t live without your java or wine, there’s no need to worry. Our cosmetic dentist in Raleigh knows some of the best tricks to prevent those beverages from discoloring your teeth.
Why Do Certain Beverages Stain Your Teeth?
Drinks like coffee, tea, and wine contain tannins, which are complex substances made from phenolic acids. They cling to the plaque on your teeth and can build up on tooth enamel, which can lead to staining. If you don’t rinse your mouth after consuming something with tannins, the stains will become more noticeable.
Tricks for Preventing Coffee or Wine Stains on Your Teeth
As much as you may enjoy your coffee or wine, you may not like the staining that comes with it. Below are some helpful tips to help you enjoy your drinks while keeping your teeth looking bright.
Drink with a Straw
Drinking your beverage through a straw can allow you to enjoy it without the liquid touching your teeth. Iced coffee and sangrias are perfect drinks you can consume through a straw. If you’re more of a hot coffee person or don’t like drinking through a straw, no worries! There are other options.
Brush Your Teeth First
Many people falsely believe you should brush your teeth after having wine or coffee, but it should be done before. This prevents absorbent food particles stuck on your teeth from taking on the color of the beverage.
Pair it with Crunchy Food
If you don’t have a toothbrush on hand, you can eat crunchy vegetables to help clean your teeth as you chew them. Carrots act as a natural toothbrush by naturally breaking apart plaque and tartar on your teeth. Chewing can also produce more saliva to help prevent staining.
Drink Water with it
Having plenty of water on hand is crucial for preventing stains and keeping you hydrated. Taking a few sips of water between your drink can wash away the food and drink particles that cause stains. It also keeps you hydrated while helping you produce more saliva to protect your teeth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting the dentist for regular, professional cleanings can keep your smile healthy and may help remove stains. Even if you have good home dental care habits, you shouldn’t skip your routine checkups and cleanings. We may discover something you might not notice and potentially save your teeth!
What Not to Do
It’s also worth noting the things you shouldn’t be doing if you want to prevent coffee or wine stains. Many people believe certain things may help when they actually do the opposite! Here’s what you shouldn’t do if you want to protect your teeth from staining or other types of damage.
Brush Your Teeth Immediately After
As we’ve previously said, brushing your teeth before consuming wine or coffee is better than doing it after. If you immediately brush your teeth, it can damage your tooth enamel. Coffee and wine contain acid that weakens your enamel and causes issues when you brush. If you want to brush your teeth afterward, wait about 30 minutes or so.
Adding Creamer or Sugar
Adding sugar or creamer to your coffee will only speed up the discoloring bacteria growth. If you absolutely cannot have your coffee without sweetening it, try to drink it in one sitting rather than taking small sips throughout the day. This will prevent bacteria buildup and allow you to rinse your mouth out after.
Drinking White Wine Before Red
Although white wine will not stain your teeth purple like red wine does, it’s highly acidic and can still contribute to staining. In fact, it can erode your enamel and cause the tannins in red wine to stick to your teeth more vigorously.
If you’re going to be drinking both red and white wine, start with red, then finish with white. If you don’t, remove the acid from the white wine by swishing water before drinking red wine.
Be Mindful of Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
Many of the whitening strips and other products at your local store may not provide you with the outcome you desire. Most do not contain enough hydrogen peroxide to give you noticeable results, and others may even strip away your enamel and cause damage. If you’re considering a whitening treatment to remove wine or coffee stains, speak to our cosmetic dentist first.
Visit Your Favorite Cosmetic Dentist in Raleigh for a Dazzling Smile!
Our cosmetic dentists at Tryon Family Dentistry enjoy giving you a smile you’re proud to flaunt. If you need help removing some wine or coffee stains from your teeth, feel free to give us a call to schedule an appointment.