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How much coffee and red wine you can REALLY drink every day without staining your teeth.

Posted by on 27 March 2018 | Comments

How much coffee and red wine you can REALLY drink every day without staining your teeth.

  • Even one cup of coffee or glass of red wine will stain the surface
  • Damage can be undone if you brush straight away to remove the tannins
  • Snacking between meals and not brushing at night also put teeth at risk  

We all know that too much caffeine and red wine is a recipe for stained teeth, but how much can you get away with drinking before it has an impact on your pearly whites?


It’s bad news for caffeine lovers - unless you're prepared to be rigorous with your oral care routine.

Anything that would mark a white t-shirt will mark your teeth, including turmeric and tomato sauce – it doesn’t always have to be the unhealthy things. Even one glass of wine or cup of coffee or even tea, will leave tannins directly on the tooth surface. 

These are called extrinsic stains which means they are removable by brushing at this early stage. But over time these stains penetrate the enamel and cause more ‘permanent’ intrinsic stains which are much harder to remove. So keep drinking them but brush away those tannins as quickly as you can.'

Drinking chilled still water after every meal or rinsing your mouth with water will help to swill away any debris that could stick to teeth and linger and using floss or interproximal brushes twice a day to dislodge build-up between the teeth.

 Wine Poured

Just one cup of coffee is enough to stain your teeth!

The important oral hygiene mistakes:

Not brushing your teeth at bedtime 

Oral plaque that’s built up all day will continue to colonise and grow as you sleep. 

This means the more aggressive bacteria takes over triggering an inflammatory response in the gum tissue. All that food debris can also lead to the onset of acid attack as well as causing bouts of bad breath.

Brushing teeth after breakfast 

Always brush before. To reduce the bacterial build up that’s occurred overnight. 

Acid is produced after eating so brushing after eating just brushes or scrubs the acid even further into the enamel.

Snacking between meals 

Something sweet at mealtimes is usually fine – it’s the consumption between meals and snacking that causes problems. 

That’s because it’s the frequency of your sugary treats rather than quantity that is more likely to cause tooth decay. 

The saliva naturally present in the mouth, neutralises the acids created by plaque bacteria, after sugary foods are consumed but this takes up to 40 minutes to occur fully. 

If sugars are consumed frequently the mouth never recovers and is exposed to acid attack throughout the entire day.

Ignoring blood 

Spitting blood could be a sign of periodontitis which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. If you washed your hands and they started to bleed would you think this is normal? Of course not, and it’s the same with the mouth. A healthy mouth will not bleed when you brush normally.

The mouth is the medical mirror and can indicate systemic disease as well.

Brushing your teeth after you've consumed coffee or red wine will help to lift away the extrinsic stains.

Using a manual toothbrush  

Electric toothbrushes assist with technique, penetrate and clean further than a manual brush ends. Plus they have timers to let you know how long to keep brushing for.

Thousands of strains of bacteria live on your toothbrush – and that’s if you clean it. There will be millions if you don’t, so I recommend silicon brushes as they’re easier to clean and accumulate far less bacteria.

They’re also better for your teeth as they create far less friction which means the enamel doesn’t get disrupted. 

What is the best way to brush your teeth?

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Brush teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before you go to sleep

Use fluoride toothpaste and a softly bristled brush

The bristles should come into contact with both the gumline and surface of your teeth, the brush should be held at a 45-degree angle against your gums and rather than scrubbing teeth back-and-forth, gently move your brush in circular motions

Replace your toothbrush every three months.