Coffee and Tea: How Do They Affect Your Teeth


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There are many like you and me for whom starting the day without the ritual cuppa of coffee or tea is hard to imagine. But these drinks that help us to go through the day can wreak havoc on our oral health.

The coffee and tea are especially tough on the teeth because the tannic acid (the thing that makes the colour dark) gets etched in the grooves and the pits of the teeth enamel resulting in making the teeth brown.

What Stains More – Tea or Coffee?

In spite of most coffees being considerably darker in the shade than teas, the tea contains a substance called tannin.  You can find tannin in all sorts of drinks and foods like wine. Tannin happens to be a vegetable dye that occurs naturally in the body and it is an anti-oxidant known as tannic acid.

Apart from the darker pigments found in these beverages, tea consists of the additional tannic acid. The tannic acid sticks to the plaque in the teeth. And it leads to the yellowing of the teeth along with tea pigment itself.

Effects of Tea and Coffee

Here are some of the major ways in which tea and coffee affect our oral and overall health. Just take a look.

  • Enamel Damage – Any drink or food that has acid content or flavour happens to be bad for the dental health. It can wear the enamel away over time resulting in tooth decay and cavities. You daily cup of coffee or tea can weaken the enamel of the teeth and eventually lead to the deterioration of your oral health to a great extent. Allowing the acidic things to come in contact with the teeth is like inviting them to harm the teeth and they will do the needful. So you should oblige to the daily frequency of the hot cup of tea for keeping the teeth damage to a lower level.
  • Staining of the Teeth – If you love your teeth, you must stop drinking the coffee or tea. It is known that these beverages discolour the teeth gradually and make them look stained or yellowish. As the enamel is absorbent in nature it does not take long for the coffee or the tea to seep deep into them. If the habit is not shunned, sooner or later your teeth will turn to dark yellow. The more you drink, the more effect these will have on the teeth. You can cut back on the frequency of drinking these for minimising damage to a great extent.
  • Stress – The coffee and tea contain certain chemicals that can decrease the stress levels. The people who drink these beverages are more likely to experience lack of sleep and stress. The grinding can lead to wear and tear on the teeth. This habit comes with the risk of the tooth enamel from resulting in oral problems like tooth damage and sensitive teeth. Apart from that, the pain in the teeth and jaw is common to people who grind as this puts a lot of strain on the muscles of the jaw.

How to Minimise the Effect of Tea and Coffee

There are steps that you can take for preventing the further yellowing of the teeth while still enjoying the beverages –

  • Limit your consumption of tea and coffee as much as possible to maintain your pearly whites
  • Try to stick to green or white tea instead of black tea
  • Brew in the coffee in a lighter manner and use cream or milk in it
  • Brush or rinse your mouth after drinking a cup of coffee or tea to stop allowing the staining agents to stick to the enamel and cause harm
  • Brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste after 10-15 minutes of having a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Floss on a daily basis for removing the plaque by the teeth edge
  • You should try to drink tea or coffee with the help of a straw in order to reduce the harmful contact with the teeth
  • You should brush with salt and baking soda and rinse with hydrogen peroxide twice a week for removing the surface stains

If even after all these, you still have stains on the teeth then it is time then you consult with your dentist and opt for a professional whitening treatment and professional teeth clean-up so that you can avoid stained teeth and tooth cavity treatment anytime soon and can retain a million-dollar smile while still not abandoning your favourite beverage – tea or coffee completely.




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