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How do you enjoy tea and coffee without staining your teeth?
We are a nation of coffee and tea lovers! So, how do you get your caffeine fix without staining your teeth? Well, with a coffee shop or café now on nearly every street corner we can safely say us Brits do love a hot cuppa, whether it be tea or coffee. We drink it to stay awake, socially with our family and friends, in work meetings, as a digestive and for comfort.
We drink it morning, noon, night and anywhere in between but the BIG question is what is our beloved caffeine habit really doing to our teeth?
We all know that caffeine keeps us alert and gives us the energy boost we need to get through the day, but what effect does caffeine rea;;y have on our teeth? Consumption of excessive caffeine as we are all aware causes yellowing of the teeth, or worse greying and gather those nasty brown stains between the teeth too.
Did you know that the enamel on your teeth can degrade over time due to the caffeine in take too? As the enamel wears off your teeth are susceptible to diseases and can damage more easily causing staining more likely to happen faster. Enamel is the protection on our teeth that wards off cavities and dental disease, so it’s pretty important that we all look after our enamel!
More surprisingly than that though is that caffeine is more often than not blamed for teeth clenching, as caffeine brings about stress and anxiety in large quantities leaving us sleep deprived, we will often without realise clench our teeth together and may even leading to grinding our teeth at night.
Worth noting as this will cause jaw and tooth pain although thankfully not another staining issue.
Tannin is present in caffeine (and red wine) and tannin has a compound in it called polyphenol. Polyphenols break down when they come into contact with water and that triggers the colour compounds in your coffee and tea (not forgetting red wine too) to stick to your teeth and in turn that creates the yellowish look on your teeth.
Over time it gets darker and more stubborn to remove.
Daily life is made up of little moments of joy so should we give up our habitual comforting cup of tea or our stimulating fresh bean cup of coffee that gives us so much pleasure?
Pretty sure knowing what the effects are and how it affects our bodies and our dental health make caffeine harder to swallow than we would like it to be. So, what can we do to ensure we get our caffeine fix whilst protecting our teeth?
Drinking through a straw is the most obvious solution however, if it’s that lovely, iced coffee or cold iced tea that’s not a bad shout but a hot steaming cup of your favourite through a straw could be uncomfortable and do little else than keep your lipstick in place! A top tip here is adding milk to our cups of tea and coffee helps reduce the staining from the drinks and rinsing afterwards too with water.
Alongside the caffeine in most carbonated drinks lurks another sneaky enemy attacking the teeth, phosphoric acid.
Phosphoric acid can attack the enamel on the teeth wearing it away and coupled with the caffeine it’s a double whammy of staining and enamel damage so drinking through a straw here is always the answer!
Our kids always ask for a straw so follow their lead and don’t forget to make it an eco friendly non plastic one!
Having a good and healthy dental routine twice a day will help keep the staining at bay.
Brushing with a brand of whitening toothpaste, using flossing and tooth pick products and a good soothing mouthwash will certainly bring you some way to protecting the teeth from staining but is it enough to keep our smiles bright and white? Seeing a hygienist and dentist regularly will help but is it often enough?
Professionals will tell you that the teeth whitening toothpaste is only going to take off surface staining and can be quite abrasive to use everyday so whilst this will help fight the caffeine effect careful not to make your teeth sensitive.
The bicarbonate of soda paste is another way to bring up the whiteness of the teeth again though this will only be surface level stain removal.
So, what really works without loosing that caffeine hit we all know and love? Step into the limelight teeth whitening done by a professional (or one they can provide you with for home whitening).
Not only can this method be hugely effective, but it is also very simple to implement once the trays (like a mouth guard that moulds to your teeth) are made up. One hour a day for a few weeks is usually recommended or go into a clinic and have a professional do the treatment for you.
Using the gel either at home or in a clinic can have your results last as long as six months before you need a top up. Is it worth it? YES! You can have both bright white teeth and that winning smile AND keep your joyful caffeine habit alive!
We would love to hear your comments below – Please have your say as others will value your opinions as well.
When your looking to protect your teeth from any unwanted stains people can drink through a straw to help protect the whiteness of their teeth. Ture or False?
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