6 Teeth-Saving Tips for Coffee Lovers

This is a guest post by Kenneth D. Mack, DDS  one of the top Dentists in Los Angeles. Would you like to write a guest post for us? Check out our guidelines.

You’re probably here for the very same reason that I decided to explore this topic:  You love coffee and you’re not planning on giving it up anytime soon.

But you also can’t stand the idea of having a smile that gets progressively less white with every cup of java you knock back.

So, what can we coffee lovers do?  Is there some magic solution that allows you to enjoy your tasty dose of caffeine and still maintain a healthy, white smile?  Well, maybe not magic exactly, but there are a few insider tips that can help.

 1. Ice it Down

If you’re already obsessed with iced coffee, you’re in luck!  It turns out that cold-brewed coffee does less damage than the hot stuff.  Why?  This alternative brewing method results in fewer polyphenols and acid, which are the real stain and tooth damage culprits of coffee.

Cold brewing couldn’t be easier – the only catch is that you have to do it beforehand.  All you need to do is pour 4 cups of cold water over a cup of course grounds and let it steep for about 12 hours.  Then just strain it so you don’t get a mouth full of grounds.  You can also use a French press if you’ve got one.  What’s great is that cold-brewed coffee stays good for a while, so you can mix a large batch up on the weekend and keep it in the fridge to enjoy all week long.

2. Rinse Away

 This solution is so simple, it’s silly.  One excellent way to mitigate the havoc coffee wreaks on teeth is to accompany your java with water.  After every few sips of coffee, take a sip of water, and swish it around a bit before swallowing.  This little trick helps prevent the brown beverage from sticking around and causing stains.

3. All in the Straw

 The prevention of teeth stains is worth the weird looks you may get as you sip from a straw inserted into a mug.  Why?  Well, sipping your cup of joe through a straw helps coffee bypass the front surfaces of your teeth.  Iced coffee drinkers can use regular, disposable straws, but if you insist on hot coffee, consider purchasing reusable straws that won’t cause plastic chemicals to enter your drink.

 4. Don’t Drag it Out

 We know that some of you like to nurse coffee all day long, but doing so really compounds the damage it does to your teeth.  Each time you take a sip, you give the acid the chance to work its way into your pearly whites.  But, if you finish off your one cup of coffee more quickly, then rinse it away, you’ll greatly minimize stains.

 5. Stain-Fighting Foods

 When in doubt, look to nature.  Some healthy, delicious foods have secret powers to naturally clean teeth, thus preventing stains.  Fibrous foods like apples, carrots, and celery scrub teeth naturally as you chew them.  So, it’s a good idea to follow up your coffee with a few apple slices or baby carrots when you can.

 6. Milk It

 Are you ready for some science?  Here goes…the tannins in coffee (and tea) grab onto your teeth and cause stains when you let them sit there.  The good news is, that those pesky tannins grab onto dairy proteins called caseins, leaving them less able to also attach themselves to your teeth.  Therefore when you add milk or cream to your coffee, you are indirectly lessening the staining power of your beloved brew.  Cool, right?


If we’re being completely honest, we have to say that the only real way to prevent coffee stains is to abstain from drinking it entirely.  But, we also know that for many, that sacrifice just isn’t very realistic.

So if you’re committed to your love of a good cup of joe, it’s time to try some of these tips that will help you maintain a healthier whiter smile.


Kenneth B. Mak, DDSKenneth B. Mak, DDS is among the top Los Angeles dentists.  You can find him practicing general & cosmetic dentistry at MKD Dentistry along with Dr. Rodney Kleiger & Dr. Dennis DeMesa.  When he’s not caring for his patients, Dr. Mak enjoys writing fun and informative articles that help people learn how to maintain excellent oral health.  Connect with him on Google+ or visit MKD Dentistry today!



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