How to Prevent Staining Teeth when Drinking Tea or Coffee

Drinking Tea or Coffee from a cup (aka. sipping).

Many offices across Silicon Valley (and probably the US and World) now offer their employees free tea or coffee. And the drinks are both healthy in moderation, but more importantly help keep you awake and focused throughout the workday. And based on how quickly the coffee and tea are consumed in my building at work, it's safe to assume that collectively, we're all drinking a lot of coffee and tea. But how does this affect your oral hygiene (even while brushing 2 times a day)?

Coffee and tea are both well known as culprits to stained teeth. Sometimes it's a uniform staining on the flat surface of your teeth. But if you don't regularily floss, dark yellow staining can also happen between your teeth (I know this from experience). The twice a year visit to your dentist can absolutely remove most of the staining, but deeper stains are more difficult (to impossible) for your dentist to remove.

But the strategy to preventing stained teeth may be easier than you think, but not widely accepted by your peers. Use a straw! When you sip tea or coffee out of a cup, the the beverage will pass through your teeth before you have the chance to swallow it. With a straw, the liquid bypasses the front set of teeth, thereby minimizing the amount of contact the tea of coffee makes with your teeth. Problem solved! And if you want to take it one step further, after you finish drinking your tea of coffee, rinse your mouth with water to help wash away any staining properties of the drink left on your teeth.

Although I'm focusing on coffee and tea, those two beverages are not only causes to stained teeth. So depending on your food choices, you may still experience yellow staining if you eat a lot of other food like wine, soda, berries, and hard candies (just to name a few) can also stain your teeth.

Good luck on your hunt to prevent yellow staining on your teeth! Let me know how well using a straw helps!

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