The 6 Best Toothpastes For Coffee Stains, According To A Dentist

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best toothpastes for coffee stains
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If you’re a coffee drinker who’s experiencing some unwanted staining on your teeth, you might be looking for a whitening toothpaste that can restore the shine and natural color of your enamel. When picking out the best toothpastes for coffee stains, you’ll want to look for one with the safest and most effective ingredients for your specific mouth, whether you have sensitive teeth or concerns about cavities. Since you’re looking to get rid of coffee stains, zero in on a good whitening toothpaste which includes hydrogen peroxide to “lift stains from teeth and make them appear ‘whiter,’” as well as a gentle abrasive, according to Dr. Sharon Huang, the founder of the Manhattan dental practice Les Belles NYC.

Mild to moderate abrasives to look for in whitening toothpastes include dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, hydrated silica, and sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda), which all work to remove surface stains and help teeth feel clean and smooth. Charcoal is sometimes used as an abrasive in toothpaste, but Huang cautions that she has reservations about charcoal, since it “may cause sensitivity over time and strip the enamel.” For this reason, you won’t see any charcoal toothpastes on this list.

Stain removal aside, any good toothpaste should also help cleanse and protect your teeth. Huang notes that a toothpaste with fluoride “will help prevent cavities, control tartar, and bacteria build up.” However, if you prefer a fluoride-free formula, look for a toothpaste made with ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, xylitol, or neem, which have anti-cavity properties, can improve gum health, and even control bacteria. For those who experience sensitivity, Dr. Huang advises seeking out a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth, which may include potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride to decrease “the level of activity of dental sensory nerves which will reduce teeth sensitivity.” Those with sensitive teeth may also benefit from remineralizing toothpastes with ingredients like nano-hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite, which can repair, restore, and remineralize your tooth enamel.

Every toothpaste recommended on this list is formulated to whiten, but some might not want to use these on a daily basis. According to Dr. Huang, “You can use a tooth whitening toothpaste daily if your teeth tolerate it and you don’t feel any increased sensitivity.” However, for those who can’t tolerate daily use, “I always recommend alternating a whitening toothpaste with a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth to decrease sensitivity.”

There’s a lot to consider when choosing and using toothpaste, but when it comes down to pinpointing the best formula for you, Huang’s advice is pretty simple: “Do your research, check your ingredients and when all else fails, ask your favorite dentist.”

Done, done, and done! Read on for the best options for anyone with unwanted coffee stains.

1. Dentist’s Pick: The Overall Best Toothpaste For Coffee Stains

Arm and Hammer’s whitening toothpaste is a favorite of Dr. Huang’s, who explains, “The active ingredients in this toothpaste are peroxide and baking soda which doubles the whitening effectiveness. The peroxide removes stains as baking soda gently whitens and neutralizes acids that erode enamels. It contains fluoride which helps prevent cavities, controls tartar, and bacteria build up.”

But Dr. Huang isn’t the only person who’s a fan of the formula — Amazon reviewers give it a 4.7-star rating overall, after more than 32,000 reviews. Dozens of reviewers noted the toothpaste’s ability to keep their teeth white even though they drink lots of coffee, with one reviewer raving, “I am a heavy coffee and tea drinker and this keeps my teeth bright. My dental hygienist asked me what I was doing to keep my teeth so white.”

The toothpaste comes in a two-pack, and it’s a great deal at around $3 a tube.

Helpful Amazon review: “This is the perfect toothpaste for the coffee lover who doesn't want stained teeth. My dentist recommended I switch to it a few years ago to help fight the staining caused by coffee. Now, every time I go, they ask if I quit drinking coffee (yea, right...) because my teeth are not as stained.”

2. Dentist’s Pick: The Best Toothpaste For Coffee Stains On Sensitive Teeth

Another recommendation from Dr. Huang, this four-pack of toothpaste is specifically formulated for whitening sensitive teeth. The active ingredients are potassium nitrate, which Dr. Huang notes is great for decreasing sensitivity, and sodium fluoride which is “an effective anti-cavity agent.” Other ingredients like xylitol, aloe, coconut oil, and silica work together to gently polish teeth and scrub coffee stains out. The toothpaste is free from dyes, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, microbeads, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and it’s vegan and cruelty-free. Reviewers report that the toothpaste’s coconut mint flavor is subtle, and one reviewer even raved that the formula has been a “game changer” for their gums.

The brand also sells two additional versions of this toothpaste, if you’d prefer something different. The “see ya, sensitivity” toothpaste is great for those with sensitive teeth who aren’t focused on whitening, and the “gum nourishment” toothpaste is specifically focused on those with sensitive teeth who really want to improve their gum health.

Helpful Amazon review: “This toothpaste is fab for my super sensitive teeth. I can't use famous [label] whiteners because my teeth will be sore for days. Hello has balanced the whitening with care for sensitive teeth.”

3. Dentist’s Pick: A Popular Fluoride-Free Toothpaste For Coffee Stains

If you’re looking for a fluoride-free, cruelty-free, and vegan toothpaste for your coffee stains, this Davids whitening toothpaste is a solid choice that comes recommended by Dr. Huang. “It uses calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate to naturally whiten teeth and contains nano-hydroxyapatite to repair sensitive teeth and remineralize enamel,” she explains. Plus, there’s xylitol to further aid with enamel health.

Reviewers give this sulfate-free toothpaste a 4.5-star rating overall, after more than 3,000 reviews. They also note that the toothpaste’s peppermint flavor isn’t overpowering and leaves teeth feeling fresh and clean. And, since Davids focuses on sustainability, the toothpaste comes packaged in a recyclable metal tube with a tube squeezer to get out every last drop.

Helpful Amazon review: “My teeth are whiter and less sensitive to heat and cold. I drink coffee and tea every single day and in 1 week, this removed stains my teeth are not only white but bright very beautiful.”

4. Dentist’s Pick: A Fluoride-Free Toothpaste With Aloe Vera

According to Dr. Huang, this Wellnesse whitening toothpaste works because it’s formulated with “aloe vera, which is a potent antioxidant with antibacterial properties and calcium carbonate which removes plaque, debris and surface stains.” The fluoride-free toothpaste also uses hydroxyapatite to restore enamel and neem to further cleanse and protect your teeth.

All ingredients are non-GMO and all natural. Plus, the cruelty-free formula is free of parabens, sulfates, and glycerin. The toothpaste is flavored with peppermint oil, but it’s worth mentioning that some reviewers describe the taste as “intense” and “like chewing a box of peppermints.” If you like mint, it shouldn’t be an issue, but if you prefer another flavor, this toothpaste might not be right for you. That said, multiple reviewers specifically noted that they like the taste, writing, “Tastes great,” and “Flavor was fresh.”

Wellnesse also makes a version of this toothpaste with charcoal, though Dr. Huang cautions that charcoal can be too abrasive, so you might want to steer clear.

Helpful Amazon review: “I wish I had found this toothpaste many years ago. I was a little apprehensive about the cost, but it is totally worth it. My teeth and my toothbrush feel cleaner, look whiter (less tea stains) and less plaque. Just from using it for about a week. I would highly recommend.”

5. A Fan-Favorite Whitening Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth

More than 34,000 reviewers have given Sensodyne’s gentle whitening toothpaste a stellar 4.8-star overall rating, and it’s easy to see why. The active ingredients are potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride, a combination that Dr. Huang has praised for sensitive teeth. The potassium nitrate desensitizes the nerves in your teeth, which reduces teeth discomfort, while the sodium fluoride wards off cavities. Additionally, Sensodyne promises that its toothpaste will also protect your sensitive teeth from the triggering pain of acids, sweets, and temperature changes.

Many Amazon reviewers with sensitive teeth report that this toothpaste was recommended to them by their dentists, and note that they find the toothpaste gentle but effective — even for coffee drinkers. As one satisfied reviewer wrote, “This product tastes great and helps with the stains on my teeth from drinking too much coffee and tea.”

Helpful Amazon review: “I'm a coffee/tea/wine drinker. I've used this brand for years. I decided to switch and try another. Well, let's say I came back after six months and one dentist visit. I've never before had my dentist comment on how stained my rear molars were stained. I went to the dentist for sensitivity issues as well. Nothing changed but my toothpaste. I highly recommend this toothpaste.”

6. A Popular Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

If you’d like to freshen your breath with peppermint oil while fighting coffee stains on your teeth, then take a look at JĀSÖN’s fluoride-free whitening toothpaste, which (along with the the brand’s strengthening toothpaste) has an overall rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon after more than 10,000 reviews. Amazon reviewers especially love the toothpaste for coffee stains, with one coffee drinker writing, “My dentist told me my teeth have never looked better.”

JĀSÖN’s ingredient list is full of winners, including calcium carbonate to remove plaque, debris, and surface stains, plus baking soda, which Dr. Huang notes can “gently whiten and neutralize acids that erode enamel.” Plus, the formula is free from artificial sweeteners, parabens, propylene glycol, and SLS.

The Powersmile toothpaste comes in your choice of peppermint or vanilla peppermint flavors. The brand also sells a spearmint-flavored strengthening toothpaste, which is formulated with calcium, proteins and antioxidant blue green algae.

Helpful Amazon review: “We've been using Powersmile for a couple of years now and are huge fans. A nice thick, non-abrasive white paste that packs a big Peppermint-y punch. This toothpaste is definitely powerful - leaves mouth and teeth feeling super clean and minty fresh. Powersmile whitens and brightens teeth and does not make teeth feel sensitive. [...] Kicks morning breath's butt and polishes away the tell-tale signs of red wine and coffee. [...] It just feels simple, natural and effective.”


Dr. Sharon Huang, dentist and founder of Les Belles NYC

Studies referenced:

Mangaiyarkarasi, S. P., Manigandan, T., Elumalai, M., Cholan, P. K., & Kaur, R. P. (2015). Benefits of Aloe vera in dentistry. Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences, 7(Suppl 1), S255–S259.

Pepla, E., Besharat, L. K., Palaia, G., Tenore, G., & Migliau, G. (2014). Nano-hydroxyapatite and its applications in preventive, restorative and regenerative dentistry: a review of literature. Annali di stomatologia, 5(3), 108–114.

Lakshmi, T., Krishnan, V., Rajendran, R., & Madhusudhanan, N. (2015). Azadirachta indica: A herbal panacea in dentistry - An update. Pharmacognosy reviews, 9(17), 41–44.