Coffee After Teeth Whitening: How Long Do I Have To Wait?

August 18, 2022

30-40% of the world’s population consumes coffee every day. It’s a commodity that many people enjoy, as further growth is predicted in the global coffee market over the next couple of years.

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

Whether it be for socialization, productivity, or pure enjoyment, coffee culture has grown into a staple of people’s diets and an important share of the world economy. 

That said, coffee is not the best thing for our teeth. The tannins in coffee leave light brown stains on your teeth. This sets back the ocular improvements made by your teeth whitening treatment. 

How Long Should You Wait To Drink Coffee After Teeth Whitening?

To preserve the effects of the teeth whitening process, a patient should avoid dark-colored food and beverages for at least 48 hours after treatment. If you want to be extra careful, you could take the extra step and avoid staining food for as long as 72 hours. 

During treatment, the pores in the enamel are gently opened so that the dental bleaching agents can reach the stains beneath the surface of your teeth. They stay this way for a while, hence the 72-hour waiting period that we recommend before once again consuming heavily colored food.  At that point, the enamel should have hardened or closed enough to be better able at preventing stains from showing. 

Once your teeth have hardened, you may resume consuming colored food. Take note, however, that your teeth may still be stained, though at a slower rate. 

Why Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth?

We touched a little bit on how your teeth get stained, but never really cover why coffee is such a huge culprit. 

Coffee contains a certain chemical compound called tannins. Tannins are chemical substances that are derived from acids. Also classified as phenolic compounds, the resulting molecules are largely insoluble and resistant to decomposition. The dark brown coloring easily seeps into the underlayer of your teeth and stays there. Because of their natural resistance to decomposition, it’s difficult to remove these particles through conventional methods such as brushing teeth. 

Here’s A Tip: Drink Through A Straw!

You have a report due tomorrow and you haven’t even started. You know you have to pull an all-nighter so what do you do? Drink coffee.

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there will be times when you need that strong punch of caffeine to push you through the night. While staying away from coffee is the best way to keep it from staining your teeth, one other way to avoid deep-seated stains is to drink coffee through a straw.

Photo by QUI NGUYEN on Unsplash

This is actually pretty normal practice – have you ever seen anyone drink iced coffee without a straw? 

If you can’t find a straw, another option you have is to drink faster. 

The core principle here is that we want to minimize the contact of the food with our teeth. 

By drinking faster, we do just that. Finishing the cup of coffee quicker gives it less time to cause staining.

It’s such a simple yet highly effective trick to ensure that your teeth get white and stay white. 

Maintain White Teeth While Drinking Coffee

You’ve probably taken every precaution to make sure that you’re teeth stay white. Well, except kick out coffee entirely from your life. 

When avoiding coffee completely is an all but impossible task to ask from you, here are a few things we recommend you do to help lessen the impact of coffee on your teeth:

Brush And Floss Consistently

Oral hygiene should be your number 1 priority if you’re serious about teeth whitening. 

No matter how often you get your teeth whitened, they will yellow if you don’t have a foundation of good oral hygiene. 

After drinking your daily coffee, the dark tannins could gradually style on the surface of your teeth and cause a stain. 

Brushing and flossing is the easiest and most convenient way to make sure that they never get to the point. 

Not only that but it removes bacteria from plaque that causes discoloration and decay. Take 2 minutes out of every morning and evening to brush your teeth and make sure that your teeth stay white. 

Or, At Least, Rinse

If you absolutely cannot find time to brush your teeth. The next best thing is to rinse your mouth with water. While this won’t do much to impact your breath, it should remove some of the coffee residues from the surface of your teeth. 

Get Professionally Whitened

One of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures is teeth whitening. It’s not easy to keep a beautiful smile without healthy, white teeth, isn’t it? The general consensus is that a customer should have their teeth professionally whitened at least twice a year to maintain their white teeth.

The Smile Bar makes this whole process easier, just book your schedule and you’re in and out in twenty minutes.

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Kindly note that the delivery turnaround time may vary depending on your location.