How To Get Rid Of Coffee Stained Teeth?

coffee stains

coffee stains

Updated on 9/30/2023
Martin AlvarezBy Martin Alvarez
Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide
Learn More about Martin Alvarez

Key Takeaways:

  • Coffee contains tannins, which cling to dental enamel and cause teeth to become discolored. Although the stains do not pose any health risks, some people choose to steer clear of them anyway.
  • There are plenty of products available, such as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and even professional whitening treatments. You can use that to remove coffee stains from your teeth. However, make sure that you follow the instructions on the product very carefully since prolonged exposure to some chemicals can be detrimental to the gums and teeth.
  • After drinking coffee, you should brush your teeth and use a mouthwash to avoid getting stains on them. When you drink coffee, drinking using a straw can also help prevent stains from occurring.

You took a photo in the form of a selfie depicting a happy woman drinking coffee.
Coffee is a terrific "pick-me-up" beverage, and it also has numerous positive effects on one's health. More than half of all adults in the United States consume at least one cup of coffee per day, so it's easy to see why coffee is such a popular beverage. However, it does come with a few drawbacks, such as the fact that it makes it difficult to sleep, that it produces bowel movements, and that it stains teeth. Some of these undesirable outcomes just cannot be avoided. But there are plenty of things you can do to prevent coffee from staining your teeth, and you don't have to give up drinking coffee or the benefits it provides.

Let's take a more in-depth look at how to get rid of coffee stains on your teeth, as well as how to keep them from appearing in the first place.

coffee staines

coffee staines

Why Does Drinking Coffee Leave Stains On Teeth?

Tannins are the principal agents responsible for the discoloration of teeth caused by coffee. Tannins are also present in tea and red wine, which is why both of these beverages have the potential to discolor teeth.

Teeth have a protective coating called enamel, which is a strong substance that prevents decay and other types of harm. However, because the enamel is made up of very small pores, it is possible for very small chemicals, such as tannins, to become trapped within them. Brown pigments make up tannins. Therefore, when they become lodged in pores, your teeth may begin to take on a hue that is somewhere between yellow and brown.

Keep in mind that tannins are beneficial to your health in some ways before you decide to cut them out of your life totally. Tannins are a form of polyphenol, which is an antioxidant that comes from plants. Therefore, tannins are a significant contributor to coffee's beneficial effects on one's health.

What Are The Top Five Methods For Removing The Stains That Coffee Leaves On Teeth?

brush teeth

brush teeth

There are plenty of approaches you can take to eliminate the stains that coffee leaves on your teeth. In this section, we will discuss the top five methods.

1. Toothpaste That Lightens The Teeth

Abrasives are typically found in whitening kinds of toothpaste. These abrasives operate by cleaning the stains off your teeth and restoring their natural color. The abrasive that you use with this procedure will, unfortunately, also remove some of the protective enamel that covers your teeth. Many whitening tubes of toothpaste make use of gentler abrasives, such as sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate. However, it is possible that these gentler abrasives are not powerful enough to remove the stains that are on your teeth.

Whitening kinds of toothpaste may also contain other ingredients, such as citrate or peroxide, that are capable of enhancing the brightness of your smile.

2. Lightening Or Bleaching Strips

whitening teeth strip

whitening teeth strip

Whitening strips that you can purchase without a prescription are another well-liked method for removing stains from teeth. Despite the fact that they are commonly referred to as "bleaching strips," whitening strips do not actually contain any bleach (which is a good thing because ingesting it would be harmful).

The ingredient that is responsible for removing stains is called hydrogen peroxide, and many strips contain this ingredient. According to research, hydrogen peroxide strips are significantly more effective at whitening teeth than whitening toothpaste. Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, has the potential to make teeth sensitive and alter the oral microbiome (bacteria).

When used too regularly, dental strips can cause irreversible damage to a person's teeth. If you decide to go with whitening strips that contain peroxide, you should try to restrict the number of times you use them and look for products with lower peroxide concentrations.

White strips made of phthalimide peroxy caproic acid (PAP) are one example of a more recent type of bleaching agent that can be purchased. There is not as much evidence available on how safe they are for use over an extended period of time because they are relatively new.

3. Treatments That Are Prescribed To Be Taken Overnight

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Your dentist may also recommend whitening procedures that you can do at home. Carbamide peroxide, a specialized gel, and a mouthguard are both components of these treatments. Due to the fact that treatments involve peroxide, they pose the same danger of causing sensitivity in the teeth. However, the effects continue for a longer time than those produced by white strips used at home.

4. Whitening Your Teeth With The Help Of A Dentist

Your dentist may also offer in-office whitening with hydrogen peroxide or calcium peroxide. Because your dentist is able to use higher quantities of these substances, the changes to the color of your teeth can remain for a significantly longer period of time. However, because of the high concentrations, you will need to have these treatments performed by a trained specialist in order to protect your teeth and mouth from becoming harmed.

5. Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene is the most important thing you can do to take care of your teeth, regardless of whether you go to a general dentist or to a specialist. This involves performing dental hygiene routines like brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist for checkups and cleanings on a regular basis. Oral hygiene may not be able to address all of your concerns regarding the discoloration of your teeth, but it will ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy enamel layer is essential in the fight against tooth discoloration.

Keep in mind that these treatments don't work for everyone. In addition, the majority of people require more than one treatment in order to completely eradicate the coffee stains that have accumulated on their teeth.

Is It Safe To Use Whitening Treatments On Your Teeth On A Daily Basis?

According to the findings of many pieces of research, prolonged contact with hydrogen peroxide, particularly when it is present in high quantities, might cause tooth decay. It can cause your enamel to become brittle, make your teeth sensitive, and cause damage to the gums and tissue that surround your teeth.

Always make sure to follow the tooth-whitening product's own instructions for the most reliable and risk-free results. If the product didn't give you the results you desired, wait the amount of time that the manufacturer recommends before giving it (or another whitening product) another shot. Check additionally to see if the American Dental Association has given its seal of approval to the product (ADA).

whitening teeth

whitening teeth

Talk to your dentist about the several treatment options that are available to you. Your dentist will also be able to assist you in determining whether or not the discoloration of your teeth is caused by something in addition to coffee.

What Are The Most Effective Measures That You May Take To Protect One's Teeth From The Effects Of Coffee?

The process of removing the stains that coffee leaves on teeth can be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, preventing coffee-stained teeth is considerably easier:

  • Consider sipping your coffee using a straw instead of your regular mug. It lessens the amount of touch that the coffee has on your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth after drinking coffee: Brushing your teeth within thirty minutes of drinking coffee can help remove tannins from your enamel before they have a chance to cling to pores. This is especially helpful if you have sensitive teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking coffee: If you find that you are unable to clean your teeth after drinking coffee, try rinsing. Even though it won't remove nearly as many tannins from your enamel, it's better than doing nothing at all. You may either use water or mouthwash for this.


  • Chew gum: Chewing gum always stimulates the production of saliva, which may prevent tannins from adhering to enamel by increasing the volume of saliva produced.
  • Add milk or cream: If you prefer your coffee black but despise the stains that it leaves behind, you might want to rethink the idea of adding milk or cream. According to the findings of one study, diluting black tea with milk greatly lowered its staining potential. Because tea contains a higher concentration of tannins than coffee does, it is possible that tea leaves even more stains than coffee does. Another study found that drinking black coffee was associated with a greater level of staining of dental composites compared to drinking coffee with milk or cream.

The Bare Essentials

Drinking coffee is going to stain your teeth over time. The tannins cause the yellowish-brown hue of your teeth in coffee, which adhere to the enamel on your teeth. There are plenty of products available, such as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and even professional whitening treatments; you can use that to remove coffee stains from teeth. If you want to totally remove coffee stains from your teeth, you might need to undergo more than one treatment. By only using a straw and brushing your teeth immediately after drinking coffee, it is feasible to prevent at least some coffee stains from occurring.