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Is it better to brush your teeth before or after drinking coffee? how to avoid stains


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Maybe you are one of those who brushes their teeth in the morning after having a cup of coffee. Or one of those who do this before.

In both cases, the question arises: what is the best option to get rid of bad breath? Brush your teeth as soon as you get out of bed or after having your first meal of the day?

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Experts believe that brushing should be done after eating or drinking coffee, preferably half an hour after the end of meals.

Another question also arises: what is the best way to avoid the stains that coffee or other products we consume cause on our teeth?

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Coffee is a popular beverage that, upon entering the mouth, inevitably comes into contact with the teeth.

It is an acidic liquid – its pH is around 5, on a scale that goes from 1 to 14 – and contains tannins, which promote stains on the teeth.

But why do these spots form?

The first thing to know is that there are two types: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic stains are those that are under the dental enamel and that can be congenital or acquired throughout life due, for example, to trauma.

Extrinsic ones are the most common. They are on the surface of the tooth and are caused precisely by the pigments of coffee, tea, red wine, mate, soft drinks, juices and some foods such as red fruits.

“Drinks like coffee or wine have colors — brown, red — so they stain teeth the same way they stain clothes,” explains Emily Anderson, dental hygienist at the Florida Dental Hygienists Association (USA), to BBC News Mundo.

Anyway, among the foods that stain teeth, coffee is not the worst.

“It doesn’t produce as many stains as red wine or some types of teas,” says André Reis, an associate clinical professor of dentistry at the University of Florida.

the stain magnet

Once in the mouth is where a concept we hear a lot about in toothpaste commercials comes into play: the plaque.

What is the board? It is a colony of bacteria that forms on teeth.

“These bacteria love to eat the sugars that go into your mouth, and when they do, they produce acids. So it’s actually the acid that’s attacking your teeth,” Anderson says.

And the board is a great absorber of pigments.

With drinks like coffee, “you’ll see the stain between your teeth and at the gum line, because that’s where plaque builds up,” Anderson says.

The interaction of food with saliva causes plaque to harden and forms another concept that regularly appears in advertising: tartar.

Most stains are removed with a dental cleaning in the dentist’s office, something that should be done on average twice a year, although it varies from mouth to mouth. When removing plaque or tartar, the stains disappear.

If in-office cleaning isn’t enough, the patient can resort to whitening techniques, with carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, under professional supervision, says Reis (doing this without specialist help can make the situation worse).


The answer to understanding why plaque forms on teeth is often the same.

“For most people, extrinsic staining occurs because they don’t brush well and don’t floss properly, if at all,” explains Anderson.

Therefore, a good brushing is recommended, in a gentle way, directing the brush to the gum lines and forming small circles. Brushing should be done twice a day, and flossing at least once a day after brushing.

It is not necessary to brush hard to remove food debris and bacteria from the mouth. On the contrary, it can damage the gums.

Anderson mentions the twice-daily recommendation as indicated by the American Dental Association. But in several Latin American countries, dental societies recommend brushing your teeth three times a day.

“Here, they speak twice a day, but I come from a culture where it was three times a day,” says Reis, a Brazilian.

In the cases of lunch and dinner, it is clear that brushing has to be after eating. But, at breakfast, there are different customs. Some do it before and others after.

Brushing before drinking coffee has its perks. The possible plaque that was generated in the mouth overnight is eliminated and therefore the color of the infusion does not adhere as easily.

However, both Anderson and Reis agree that brushing is ideal after breakfast.

“That way you won’t accumulate plaque in your mouth for so long,” says Reis.

“Simply brushing your teeth before having these drinks is probably not going to help, because the problem occurs over time. It’s not just after having a cup of coffee. Stains and plaque build up over time,” says Ander.

Even more: the healthiest thing for oral hygiene is not brushing your teeth right after eating, but waiting half an hour.

“Our teeth go through a process of demineralization and remineralization every day. When acids enter the mouth and bacteria are producing acid with sugars, the tooth enamel is attacked by acid”, explains the specialist.

“When this process is going on, the tooth enamel is vulnerable. So it’s best not to brush on top,” he says.

To reduce the interaction of acids with enamel — and thus reduce the possibility of staining — the dental hygienist’s advice is to drink water immediately after ingestion to neutralize its effects.

This text was originally published here

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I have over 10 years of experience working in the news industry. I have worked for various news websites and have been an author at News Bulletin 247 for the past 2 years. I mostly cover technology news and have a keen interest in keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. I am a highly motivated individual who is always looking to improve my skills and knowledge. I am a team player who is always willing to help out others, but also able to work independently when required. I am proactive and always take initiative to come up with new ideas and solutions.

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