How Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Blog Posts

How Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

Over 60% of Americans drink coffee daily. Thus, coffee stains on teeth are a common occurrence.[1] Avid coffee drinkers know this golden liquid can leave stains on their teeth, but they consume their daily cup of coffee and worry about tooth discoloration down the line.

Every coffee lover can improve their pearly whites with a bit of effort. You don’t have to give up your morning java. If you want to care for your smile and prevent stains, make a few changes to your daily coffee and oral hygiene habits.

How Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

Organic compounds called tannins are the main culprits found in coffee. They are a type of polyphenol that contributes to coffee’s bitter taste and decomposes in water. Tannins are antioxidants, so there are some health benefits. However, they also cause stains on your teeth.

Preventing Tooth Discoloration From Coffee

Regular coffee drinkers experience more dental stains due to drinking your daily brew, but you can prevent stains and other adverse effects by taking preventive measures.

Change How You Drink

The longer coffee lingers on your teeth, the more it increases the chances of staining. One change you can make is drinking your coffee using a straw.

If that’s too strange for you, you can also drink your coffee faster. When you take several hours to finish your cup of joe, you allow more time for it to linger on your teeth. Downing the cup quickly gives the coffee less time to have an impact.

The final option is to clean your teeth immediately after finishing your coffee. The best solution is brushing your teeth, but it’s not always possible if you’re out to breakfast or at work. Rinsing your mouth with water is a good alternative when you can’t access a toothbrush. When you rinse your mouth, the water washes away residue to help prevent stains.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing regularly is the first line of defense against a coffee stain. Teeth will also benefit from you flossing twice daily. This action will eliminate plaque, which is the leading cause of tooth staining. Several whitening toothpastes on the market help prevent and remove stains as well.

Good oral hygiene includes regular dental visits for a professional cleaning. These appointments assist in keeping your teeth healthy and white by removing plaque buildup and stains. In addition, your dentist will detect problems early to prevent the need for extensive dental treatment.

Get an Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush cleans the mouth much better than a manual toothbrush.[2] They come with a rotating or oscillating head, making them more effective at removing plaque, bacteria, and coffee stains. A manual toothbrush relies on the effectiveness of your brushing motion.

Drink Water

Saliva is crucial in protecting your tooth enamel and keeping your teeth safe. Drinking coffee doesn’t directly cause tooth enamel damage but reduces saliva production. Having a cup of water after your coffee will help prevent stains from coffee, as well as keep your teeth hydrated and producing saliva.

Professional Whitening Treatments

Professional teeth whitening uses a gel made from hydrogen peroxide and a light that activates it. After being applied to the teeth, it stays on the surfaces for up to an hour, depending on the strength of the treatment. When time is up, it gets rinsed away, revealing a refreshingly white smile.

You may need multiple treatments to achieve your desired results. However, teeth whitening can help stop new stains from developing. This option is a good choice for coffee lovers everywhere.

Take the Worry Away and Enjoy Your Coffee

Even when the drink you love causes yellowing to your teeth, you now know how to combat it. Making simple changes to your daily habits can prevent new coffee stains from forming on your teeth. If you’re still concerned, make an appointment with a dental professional to find the best solution.

Empire Dental Care is ready to help. Our team of experienced dental professionals will assist you in removing stains and keeping your teeth healthy and bright while still enjoying your daily cup of coffee. Call us today at 585-671-1650 to get started!





Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.