One of the most common issues in dentistry is teeth discoloration. Teeth going from white to yellowish or brown, is a common issue, especially for coffee drinkers. The discoloration is generally caused by the food we eat. The stains are caused by Tannins, a form of polyphenols that breaks down in the water. They are also present in wine and tea. 

Tannins tend to linger on our teeth and stain anyone’s pearly whites. But how do you avoid your teeth getting stained? Here’s everything you need to know about taking care of your teeth and keeping them clean and white.

Avoid Food and Drinks That Cause Staining.

The best way to keep your teeth white is to say no to coffee from time to time. Since it is the main reason for teeth discoloration, it is logical to avoid the cause of the problem. We only have one set of adult teeth, but for those who can’t avoid drinking coffee to get through the day, here’s what you can do.

  1. Drink a glass of water after drinking coffee to rinse your teeth and mouth.
  2. If you prefer iced coffee, drink through a straw so it goes directly to your throat.
  3. After drinking coffee, make sure to brush at least 30 minutes after.
  4. Keep in mind that there are foods that help clean teeth, such as strawberries and lemons, which contain fibers that clean teeth by breaking down bacteria.
  5. Try to avoid using creamer and sugar. These two speed up the growth of discoloring bacteria and lead to an increased risk of tooth decay.
  6. Try to drink coffee in one sitting instead of taking small sips to prevent bacteria build-up.

How Bad is Coffee for Teeth?

Coffee pushes the bacteria growth in the mouth. It is an acidic drink that causes enamel erosion. A coffee drinker’s teeth can become thin and brittle over time. As the enamel, the tooth’s protective layer, weakens, the dentin layer gets exposed. This causes a darkened yellow or brown appearance.

Other effects are bad breath or Halitosis since the coffee smell lingers on the tongue. Make sure to eat or drink something else before drinking coffee or scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper afterward.

What Else Causes Teeth Stains?

Aside from coffee, tea and wine are the other substances that cause teeth discoloration. Tea is more likely to stain your teeth more than coffee. Many black, green, and herbal teas contain tannins that stain teeth and gums. Green tea leaves a gray stain, and black tea leaves yellowish marks. Herbal teas like chamomile and hibiscus may also cause discoloration.

Other food and drinks that cause discoloration are red wine, berries, tomatoes, colas, popsicles, hard candy, and sports drinks.

How do I Correct Discoloration on My Teeth?

Although many things cause discoloration, there are also many methods that bring back your tooth’s natural brightness. There are over-the-counter products that can be used at home to treat it. Whitening toothpaste is popular among people since they are easy to use, cheap, and designed to polish and brighten your smile even more.

Aside from toothpaste, whitening strips, gel trays, and LED whitening kits are available online or in drugstores. Look for the American Dental Association (ADA)’s Seal of Acceptance for products that are effective and safe for use. 

Home remedies such as brushing your teeth with baking soda at least once a month are also great ways to bring back your pearly whites.


Teeth discoloration is normal. However, if it bothers you and makes you lose your confidence, you should do something about it. Aside from the things you can do at home to keep them white for longer, cosmetic procedures can also be performed to help the discoloration vanish from your teeth.

Kabani Dental is a dental clinic that houses cosmetic dentists in Marietta, Georgia. Run by the Kabani family, we focus on being multi-disciplined and family-oriented at all times. We are passionate about orienting patients about the different aspects of oral health. If you need help fixing your discolored smile, book an appointment today, and we’ll take care of it for you.