If you’re one of the 64% of U.S. Adults that has at least one cup of coffee a day, then you’ve probably thought about how your teeth might be affected. You know you can’t talk to anyone before you’ve had your coffee, but you also don’t want yellow teeth when you do eventually talk to them. What about cold brew? People have been saying cold brew stains your teeth less than regular coffee. While this is true, there’s more to the matter than the pearly complexion of your teeth. Surprisingly, the yellow discoloration that develops may be proof that your teeth are protected. Listen to this…
What causes the stains?Coffee’s staining capacity is proportional to its polyphenol count. Polyphenols are a great source of dietary antioxidants. These acids, such as chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid, are proven to have some major health benefits, even for your teeth. The polyphenol count in coffee is determined by many factors, including the brewing method. Cold Brew coffee and espresso drinks have a smaller acid count than drip coffee. This means that Cold Brew does indeed stain your teeth less, but has fewer health benefits. Coffees with a high polyphenol count have been shown to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and dementia; just to name a few. But the one health benefit that this article is focused on is the ability for polyphenols to fight cavities. That’s right, the substance that you thought was harming your teeth is actually protecting them! These acids remove and protect against plaque. However, when you add sugar, sugar alternatives, and creamer to your coffee, you’re negating the positive effects of the polyphenols, and thus allowing the acids to break down the enamel instead. So if you want healthy teeth from drinking coffee, consider drinking it black. Also, adding milk to your coffee does not reduce the staining effect of the coffee, that myth was debunked.
So what if you want the health benefits without the yellow teeth?You may not be able to completely stop your teeth from getting stained, but here are few tips to help reduce it:
- Drinking through a straw avoids staining on the front teeth, but your molars can still be stained. You may also burn yourself easier using a straw, so I suggest this method for cold-brew only.
- Use a Sonicare Toothbrush, they’ve been shown to reduce stains.
- Get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water while drinking coffee. This helps wash away any lingering pigments from the coffee.
- Use at home whitening strips. Word of caution with this method, as it is possible to apply too much.
- Professional whitening is a sure way to get your classic white back. This practice has also become more and more affordable over time, making it a viable option for more people.
- Proper oral hygiene is always a go-to of course! Proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing are a sure way to keep your teeth looking great.