How to Clean Coffee Stained Teeth

By Louise Balle
a toothbrush, coffee stains, your teeth
toothbrush image by Nicola Gavin from

If you are a coffee drinker, be aware of the effect that this dark liquid can have on the appearance of your teeth over time. The coffee color can slowly absorb into the layers of your teeth, making them appear dingy and yellow, which is of particular concern for frequent coffee drinkers who consume this beverage every day. You can correct and prevent this staining issue with a few tools and a continued commitment to proper tooth care.

Brush your teeth thoroughly---once in the morning, once at night, and once right after drinking your cup of coffee if possible---with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and is advertised to both whiten and protect your teeth from staining and tartar buildup even between brushings. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle toward your gums, and move in a quick circular motion. Move the brush down and continue this action.

Use a tooth whitening gel (peroxide based) on the surfaces of your teeth. You can purchase this type of product from a pharmacy or dentist office. Some electronic toothbrush sellers offer these "bleaching" gels as well. Brush the gel onto each tooth carefully, leave it on and allow it to sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes. Do this once per day according to the instructions.

Try tooth whitening strips as an alternative to the gel. They are also made of a peroxide formula. Place the strip securely over the top and bottom row of your teeth, and let them sit for at least half an hour. Perform this action twice per day for as long as the product packaging suggests (usually one to two weeks).

Call your dentist to schedule an in-office whitening session, which takes about an hour and involves a bleaching liquid and laser or heat equipment. This is a costly procedure that could cost you as much as $1,000 for your entire set of teeth (2010 price).

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