Coffee Staining: Mechanism, Prevention & Additional Science
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body but it's not completely smooth. Chemical and mechanical wear create microscopic cracks and roughness on the tooth's surface. These areas make great hiding-spots for the staining chemicals found in one of our favorite beverages – coffee.
Common Sources of Dental Wear and Tear
Brushing teeth too hard
This toothbrush by OralB tells you when you are applying too much pressure on your teeth.
Brushing right after eating or drinking
Using teeth to open or cut objects (ex: beer bottles)
Polyphenols in Coffee
Coffee contains something called polyphenols. Tannins are a type of polyphenol. Tannins bind to the outer layer of teeth. It is particularly hard to remove these tannins on a roughened tooth surface. If you don’t brush away the tannins daily, they stick to one another. Ultimately, the teeth look darker.
add milk to coffee: milk contains proteins that bind to tannins, preventing them from adhering to the tooth surface
choose coffee alternatives like matcha tea: Matcha tea is filled with antioxidants and is proven to be a more stable source of energy, without a caffeine high and crash.
use a re-usable straw: re-usable straws limit beverage contact with your teeth and are great for the planet as well (this is my favorite straw set)
change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 months
don't sip on sodas: if you are going to drink soda, consume in one sitting. Sipping all day keeps the mouth's pH really low. A low pH means more chemical wear of teeth.
try professional teeth whitening: this is my favorite option for at-home whitening White strips work for many people, but the results may not be as dramatic as those of professional teeth whitening by a dentist.
Other interesting facts about coffee
Estimates suggest that up to 90% of Americans drink coffee each day and between 50 to 60% are addicted. Coffee is a psychoactive drug that work on our brain's dopamine pathways.
· Boosts physical performance
· Helps burn fat
· Helps you stay focused
· Some preliminary studies suggest that it prevents Alzheimer’s
· Possible anticancer activities (particularly liver and colon)
· Moderately decreases chances of developing Parkinson’s disease
· Moderate consumption associated with lower risk of stroke
· Most commonly consumed psychoactive drugs
· Can cause insomnia and restlessness
· Can elevate anxiety
· Can elevate LDL cholesterol “bad cholesterol”
· Addictive with withdrawal symptoms
· Not recommended for pregnant women as caffeine can pass into breast milk
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