How to reduce staining caused by tea and coffee
There’s nothing nicer than wrapping your hands around a nice hot drink on a cold day. As the weather cools down here in Tassie, you might be reaching for that cup of tea or coffee more and more.
But, you’re worried about staining your teeth. We all know that tea and coffee can cause unsightly staining of your beautiful pearly whites. This is due in part to a component called tannins, which are also present in wine as well.
So, what are some ways to continue to enjoy a hot drink, whilst minimising the staining to your teeth?
1. Use a straw
This might seem like the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard, but it’s actually the best way to protect your teeth from staining and sugar in any drink you consume. Using a straw minimises the contact the liquid has with your teeth.
CAUTION: if you’re going environmentally friendly and avoiding the plastic straws, best to choose a silicone one here rather than a metal one as the metal straws can get quite hot.
2. Consider Tea or Coffee alternatives
If a straw is just too weird, you might like to consider some other hot drinks that are much better for your teeth:
White Tea - no, this is not black tea with milk in it, but a special type of tea more akin to green tea. This part of the tea leaf still has the great antioxidants from tea, but doesn’t stain teeth as much.
Rooibos Tea - popular in South Africa, it’s becoming more popular in Australia as well. It’s a delicious warming drink, but has a much lower potential to stain your teeth.
3. Tweak your cuppa
If none of the above options appeal to you, there are some other ways to try to reduce the amount of staining from your regular tea or coffee:
Say no to the sugar - sugar in your tea or coffee speeds up the growth of discolouring bacteria in your mouth.
Don’t prolong your drink - sipping the same cup over an hour can cause more discolouration than drinking the same amount over 5 mins (OK, this might be a bit tricky for the parents of small children out there). It’s all about the amount of time the liquid is coming into contact with your teeth, so try to minimise that as much as possible.
Wait 30mins before brushing your teeth - the acidic nature of coffee means that brushing too soon after drinking can actually weaken your tooth enamel and cause further staining.
Eating after drinking - some foods such as cheese, strawberries or fibrous fruit or veggies (e.g. an apple, celery or carrot) can have a beneficial effect on teeth whitening, so may help remedy stains.
Lastly, don’t forget the importance of your twice-daily oral hygiene routine as well as regular trips to the dentist.
If you need any further advice on teeth whitening services at Dentaltown, please give our friendly practice staff a call on 6326 4368.