Should You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Drinking Coffee?

Posted by studiocitydental on July 27th, 2016

Most coffee lovers agree that the only downside to enjoying a nice cup of coffee is the potential for teeth staining. It is true that everyone's favorite caffeinated beverage can make teeth look yellow or even brownish. If you want a sparkling white smile, you can reduce your risk of staining your teeth by changing your tooth brushing habits. 

Coffee lovers also agree that the best way to avoid coffee stains on their teeth is to brush their teeth vigorously right after a cup of coffee. 

However, this is actually a very bad idea.


Drinking coffee does more than turn your teeth yellow; it damages the protective enamel, weakening the tooth and creating potential for decay-related oral health problems. 

Brushing your teeth right after drinking coffee can end up damaging teeth even further. Coffee is acidic in nature. The acid in coffee weakens tooth enamel, and then microscopic particles of coffee get stuck in the rough surface of the enamel - this is actually how those more permanent stains form. 

The acid in coffee can even penetrate below the tooth enamel and into the dentin layer below enamel. If you brush your teeth right after this happens, all you are doing is pushing this acid even further into your teeth. On top of that, you could also be brushing away weakened enamel, accelerating decay. 

Therefore, teeth actually suffer from more damage and staining when they are brushed right after being exposed to coffee. 

How Long Should You Wait? 

Dr. Zareh Kouyoumjian, a cosmetic dentist in Studio City, recommends that you always wait at least thirty minutes to brush your teeth after drinking an acidic beverage. 

This gives the saliva in your mouth enough time to remineralize your teeth and keep them from being further damaged by tooth brushing. 

If you are concerned about yellow stains from drinking coffee and tea, there are far more effective ways of preventing stains. Of course you can always visit a cosmetic dentist in Studio City for tooth whitening, but there are some steps you can take yourself to prevent stains between trips. 

Sipping your coffee through a straw can keep your teeth safe because the coffee will only minimally touch the surface of your teeth. 

Instead of brushing your teeth after coffee, try brushing them beforehand. The toothpaste leaves a protective coating on your teeth that can reduce staining. 

While drinking coffee, it is helpful to take sips of water to rinse your teeth before the acid can penetrate the surface of the tooth. 

With these steps, you can enjoy your coffee while still having a shining smile. 

And if you still want whitening services, contact Dr. Kouyoumdjian at Studio City Dental Center in Los Angeles. 

About the Company: 

Dr. Kouyoumdjian received his Doctoral of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California where he focused on esthetic dentistry. He has received several professional awards and regularly attends training sessions to stay up-to-date on the latest cosmetic dentistry. Several other services are also available, including teeth whitening and general dentistry. The whole staff atStudio City Dental Centerstrives to make patients comfortable and have a pleasant experience.

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