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How to Maintain Your Pearly Whites as a Caffeine Junkie

I’ve loved caffeine since my teen years. Every day, part of my morning routine involves brewing coffee or heading to a local coffee shop for my favorite blend. As much as I love coffee, tea, and cappuccino, I’m also aware that these drinks can stain my teeth. Constantly, I’ve worried about my habit damaging my smile.

I know I’m not alone. Lots of people are obsessed with having a white smile. Over-the-counter cleaning kits are sold in stores and online. People also turn to dentists and hygienists to have teeth professionally whitened.

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

Use a Straw

Over the years, I’ve learned that there are several things I can do every day to help keep my teeth white. For starters, I most often use a straw when I drink staining beverages. Using a straw allows the liquid to bypass my front teeth, which are the teeth most people notice when I smile.

Keep in mind that hot coffee alone is not the only beverage that can stain your teeth. Even cold tea or cappuccino has the power to stain. If you’re a wine drinker, you may feel silly drinking from a straw, but doing so could help keep your teeth whiter.

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Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Brushing and flossing daily are the most basic things you can do to keep your teeth pearly white. Brushing takes food particles off your teeth. This is necessary to help prevent plaque, which can make the teeth appear yellow or off-white. Flossing your teeth is also essential. Flossing removes food particles between the teeth that brushing does not.

Most experts recommend brushing at least twice per day. You should also floss every day. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend the best brushes, flossers, and toothpaste.

Some may recommend a whitening toothpaste, which can brighten up your smile. However, some experts do not recommend using a whitening toothpaste every day. Whitening pastes can be abrasive and wear down your enamel over time. Dr. Marc Lazare, New York-based teeth whitening expert and dentist, details why most of us should stay away from over-the-counter solutions and instead get a professional cleaning.

It’s also a good idea to brush your teeth about thirty minutes after drinking a staining beverage. Some experts recommend waiting thirty minutes because teeth may already be vulnerable to enamel damage from abrasive material in foods. Brushing immediately could further damage enamel.


Rinse with Water

Another good way to keep teeth white is to rinse them with water after you drink staining beverages. Rinsing can remove some residue, and rinsing with water is helpful for times when you don’t have a toothbrush and sink available to you.

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Have Teeth Professionally Cleaned

You should visit your dentist 1-2 times per year for checkups. Regular dental visits are a good preventative measure. A dentist or hygienist can treat many conditions that may lead to tooth staining. For instance, tooth decay will cause teeth to darken and can even lead to the loss of your teeth.

During your dental checkups, your dentist will also clean your teeth with professional equipment. This removes residue and particles you may have left behind when you brushed or flossed.

Avoid Other Teeth-Staining Substances

Being a caffeine addict makes it difficult to maintain pearly whites. However, drinking caffeine and also consuming other staining substances makes it even more difficult to keep your teeth white. If you must have your coffee every morning, then you could sacrifice something else. For instance, you could cut back on your red wine or your tea drinking.

While most people know that tea and coffee stain teeth, they don’t realize that sticky candy can also cause teeth to become discolored. So if you need your daily dose of coffee, consider giving up your hard candy habit. Candies colored by bright food colorings can leave tough stains on teeth too.

Smoking is another thing you should quit. Not only does smoking cause obvious health problems, but it can also lead to the discoloration of your teeth. Some smokers end up with greying teeth caused by decay from smoking. Others wind up with brownish or yellowish nicotine stains on teeth.

Many foods and beverages stain teeth. Some of the most popular ones are listed below:

  • Sports drinks
  • Berries
  • Tomato sauce
  • Curry spice
  • Soda

Consider Professional Whitening

There are a lot of good at-home teeth whitening kits out there. However, some people misuse them or use them too frequently. If you’re going to whiten your teeth, it’s probably best to have it done professionally.

A dentist or hygienist will make sure that your whitening procedure is done correctly. They can even recommend the best products to help maintain your white smile.

In short, the best things you can do to keep your teeth white are brushing and flossing daily and scheduling regular dental visits. If you cannot cut back on caffeine, use a straw when you drink it. You should also attempt to cut back on other staining habits like smoking and consuming foods with added food colorings, such as candy or soda.

Main image: Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

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