Coffee and Wine Stains
The key to white teeth isn’t necessarily bleaching. Watching what foods go in your mouth is just as important. Coffee and red wine can be harmful to your white smile. Both are dark in color, which alone can be enough to stain your teeth especially if you have weak tooth enamel. Coffee and wine are also high in acidity. This acid can etch away at your tooth enamel, allowing stains to work in even more (while white wine doesn’t have the dark color of red, it still is very acidic and can make your teeth vulnerable to stains). Red wine also contains tannins which are molecules in red wine that play a big part in the aging process. These molecules essentially want to bind to something and will end up binding to your teeth.
So, how do you stop these stains? Try some of these tips:
- Never drink coffee or red wine after whitening your teeth. Your teeth are dehydrated and more sensitive to staining after a whitening sessions. Your saliva will rehydrate and re-mineralize your teeth in a short amount of time, but it is best to avoid staining them during this period.
- Drinking through a straw can help prevent the offending liquid from touching the front of the teeth. Try switching to iced coffee so you can sip it through a straw (hot coffee is also thought to be more staining because the heat opens up the pores in your teeth). No one is expecting you to drink wine out of a straw, so how do you prevent that?
- Sip water or club soda in between glasses of wine. This can minimize the amount of acid left on your teeth.
- Eat some abrasive food like apples or celery. The texture can help scrub away the wine residue before it sets in.
- Snack on cheese. Cheese can actually act as a barrier and protect your teeth from stains!
- Chew gum after drinking coffee or wine. Chewing gum helps your mouth produce more saliva which will wash away harmful residue and will re-mineralize your tooth enamel.
- Wait for at least one hour after you enjoy a glass of wine to brush your teeth. If you brush too soon, you can increase wear-and-tear on your teeth while they’re still reeling from the acidity, which sets you up for stains in the future.
- Last, but not least, come see us regularly (every 6 months) for dental cleanings. Teeth that have more plaque and tartar build-up are more susceptible to stains. Clean, smooth, white teeth are more resilient to staining and will make you feel more confident!