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How to Use Charcoal to Remove Coffee Stains on Your Teeth
by lawrence fung, DDS, friendly guest contributor Published: April 8, 2020
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about the author
Lawrence Fung is a dentist, entrepreneur, and one of our expert contributors here on the hello blog. After earning his DDS at the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry, Lawrence served as a General Dentist in the US Navy for four years. Since then, he’s mixed his dental credentials with his love for startups by founding SiliconBeach.Dental, a new breed of dental clinic in LA that leverages tech to make high-quality care more accessible and friendlier than ever before. When he’s not challenging the dental status quo, Lawrence reps his beloved Trojans, crushes hotdog-eating contests, and loves yodeling.
Photo: charcoal toothpaste coffee header
Unless you’re currently engaged in some sort of woodworking project, we think it’s safe to say that most of us look to avoid stains in everyday life. But while discoloration and staining can turn your favorite white shirt into a wistful memory, the good news is that staining is optional when it comes to your teeth. With the right habits and paste, you can stop stains in their tracks. Here’s what you should know about the surface stains on your teeth and how charcoal toothpaste can help you to remove them.
Why does coffee stain teeth?
There are a few reasons why consuming coffee and other foods may result in teeth staining. Essentially, it comes down to a trifecta of substances. The first is “chromogens” which are strongly-pigmented compounds that stick to your enamel. The second is plant-based compounds called “tannins” which allow stains to “stick” to teeth more easily. And the third is good ‘ole acids, which make tooth enamel softer and rougher over time and allow stains to set in easier.
In the case of coffee, chromogens and acids are mainly responsible for the darkening of teeth. If you’re more of a tea person, there are tannins at play as well. In fact, tea is actually considered to be a more significant source of staining than coffee. But don’t dump out that Arnold Palmer yet!
Using charcoal to remove coffee teeth stains
Because coffee and tea stains are extrinsic (located on the surfaces of teeth), it’s possible to literally “scrub” them away. And that’s exactly what charcoal toothpaste does. Charcoal-based toothpastes use an extremely porous and fine-grained type of charcoal called “activated charcoal”. On a microscopic level, the properties of activated charcoal’s structure allow it to both act as a very gentle scrubbing abrasive on your tooth surfaces (to loosen stains) and draw the extrinsic stains away and remove them from your mouth entirely. When activated charcoal is combined with silica (another gentle abrasive) and formed into a neat-n-easy paste, coffee stains go running for the hills and your smile gets a lot brighter. Like the sound of that? So do we.
Hello charcoal pastes to the rescue
Over here at hello HQ, we make whitening pastes that are charc-ful of stain-fighting power, while still being safe for everyday use. If you’re a frequent consumer of surface staining foods and liquids like coffee, tea, or red wine, it’s best to brush with one of our pastes soon after meals – that way you stop stains before they can start to take hold. In addition to being effective for whitening and darn fun to use, our charcoal pastes fully rinse out of your mouth with just a few careful swishes. They also come in a whole range of crave-able flavors – so whether you’re a mint purist or dare to throw hemp seed oil or matcha into the mix , you’ll be stoked at brush time. So, what do you say? It’s high time you wash coffee stains down the drain.