In this day and age, it’s common knowledge that certain drinks will stain your teeth: Coffees, teas, sodas. And while most people want to do what they can to take care of their smile, it’s unrealistic to expect the general population to quit drinking their beverage of choice altogether.
Is there anything you can do to minimize staining? Is it true that drinking coffee with a straw will keep your teeth as bright and white as possible?
Does Drinking Coffee with a Straw Prevent Staining?
Some dentists make the argument that if you can taste the drink, it has already made contact with your teeth. While this is true, drinking any dark substance with a straw reduces the contact of the beverage with your front teeth, so they will stain less over time. However, the molars and the back of your front teeth will still get stained. You’ll still want to pay close attention to them because, even though they’re not as noticeable from a cosmetic perspective, taking care of them is just as essential for optimal oral health and the avoidance of problems down the road.
If you prefer a more environmentally friendly option, you can purchase a reusable metal straw and carry it with you at all times. This will also help you to stay consistent in the practice. That said, be aware that coffee is only the tip of the iceberg. Red wine, berries, beets, soy sauce, curry, cherries, and tomato sauce can also stain your teeth, and you probably wouldn’t want to consume any of them with a straw. Therefore, it’s good to be aware of other ways to prevent staining your teeth.
Additional Ways to Prevent Staining Your Teeth
- Brush your teeth after meals. Not only will it keep your smile bright, you’ll also rid yourself of unwanted coffee breath. If work or life responsibilities don’t make it practical to sneak into a restroom to brush your teeth, simply drink water after finishing your coffee to rinse away plaque-causing sugars.
- Floss. Only about a third of the US population flosses daily. This is probably one of the reasons why so many people have poor oral hygiene and cavities. While you may think that its only purpose is to remove decaying particles of food (which, really, shouldn’t that be reason enough?), flossing also reduces plaque, which attracts staining.
- At-home whitening kits. While these kits are easily accessible at drugstores, do consult with your dentist before using them if you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or any other issues with your oral health. Also, even if you currently don’t have sensitive teeth, overusing whitening kits can cause you to develop tooth sensitivity.
- Quit smoking. Yes. This is the list item that keeps on giving. No matter how you look at it, this factor will always be included in every single list relating to all facets of your health; and having yellow or brown teeth is one of them.
- Schedule teeth cleanings twice a year. Even if you floss every day and brush twice daily, there will be areas in between your teeth and along your gum line that need additional instruments and care that only a dental professional can provide.
If Your Teeth Are Stained, Let Us Help You
At North River Dental, we have over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry. Whether you need to schedule regular dental cleanings or would like to learn about options to improve your oral health, our skilled doctors will ensure you have the brightest, healthiest smile possible.