Coffee without consequences
July 25, 2013 11:53 PM   Subscribe

How do I drink coffee without getting stained teeth and coffee breath?

I LOVE coffee but freak out about getting stained teeth and coffee breath everytime. What is the easiest cleanest way to prevent both of those things? (I already have chewing gum and a sonicare toothbrush, but suspect that there are some secret pro-tips out there that I don't know about). Cheers! :D *Raises coffee mug*
posted by dinosaurprincess to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I don't drink coffee or tea however a friend of mine told me that her dentist suggested taking a sip of water between each sip of coffee. Is that going to diminish your coffee experience?

I also know someone who drinks their coffee through a straw (weird, I know) but that would help with the staining.

As for the breath, I'm guessing that gum or a breath strip thingy afterwards would help. But as a non coffee drinker I can tell you that I've never been bothered by anyones coffee breath or kisses before.
posted by Youremyworld at 11:59 PM on July 25, 2013

Staining is mostly genetics. You can always budget in tooth whitening, too.

Coffee breath is mostly exacerbated by adding milk or sugar. Straight up coffee with a glass of water after isn't so bad, especially if you're hydrated and don't have other issues making your breath marginal to start with.
posted by kcm at 12:54 AM on July 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you drink your coffee black, "coffee breath" is a non-issue. The warm broth of milk and sugar overfeeds the mouth's bacteria and results in a putrid odor. With black coffee, your breath will just smell like coffee for a few minutes.

Staining can be controlled by periodic use (like, once every year or two) whitening gel. Ask your dentist about it. If your teeth are pretty straight, the drugstore teeth-whitening strips may work for you.
posted by Maximian at 1:05 AM on July 26, 2013

Are you ok with drinking iced coffee? That solves the "weirdness" of drinking coffee from a straw.
posted by Grither at 4:24 AM on July 26, 2013

You could try to reduce the coffee and mix some cocoa into your drink.

Instead of mouthwash, you could use hydrogen peroxide - obviously diluted! Peroxide is the active ingredient in all the whitening products but it also acts antiseptic. If this sounds interesting, please do your own research so you can use it confidently in an appropriate concentration without damaging your gums.
posted by travelwithcats at 5:49 AM on July 26, 2013

I drink coffee, and nearly everything else, with a straw - specifically, with a "Glass Dharma" straw. Since they're glass, there's no added taste to the coffee, and they're dishwasher safe. They also have little cases for transporting them. I've only ever used mine at home, but they're quite pretty and I suspect people would be more curious about the glass straw than they would be about what you're drinking with it.
posted by VioletU at 5:56 AM on July 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Buy whitening gel. This kind is cheap and is what I use. Keep it and a toothbrush in your shower. Every morning when you shower, brush (gently) a little bit of whitening gel onto your teeth. Rinse it out at the end of your shower.

I drink coffee every day (sometimes a couple cups) but my teeth stay reasonably unstained.

As for the breath, find the plainest-flavored xylitol gum you can find. It completely neutralizes your mouth. It's awesome. (My company has some Korean business contacts, and they send us boxes of candy from time to time. There's always a few packs of Lotte brand plain xylitol gum. I have no idea where you can find the plain flavor here, but it's the best.)
posted by phunniemee at 6:38 AM on July 26, 2013

I've found that the bitter oils from my coffee collect on the back of my tongue and cause a lot of odor after time.

A quick pass with a tongue scraper and a short rinse with water-diluted hydrogen peroxide (cheaper than mouthwash) does the trick for me.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:09 AM on July 26, 2013

For the staining, I recommend water-diluted hydrogen peroxide, as JoeZydeco says (also cheaper than whitening strips, which afaik are mostly peroxide). I use peroxide in a Waterpik and it seems to help.
posted by freezer cake at 8:52 AM on July 26, 2013

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