How Does Coffee Affect Your Teeth?
Many people have to have that morning cup of coffee to get their brain jump-started, but is coffee harmful to your teeth? Is your morning pick-me-up damaging your dental health, leaving you with coffee-stained teeth? Or does coffee actually have the potential for improving the quality of your teeth? Dr. Schlosser of Dental Care of Ephrata shares his knowledge on how drinking your favorite caffeinated beverage affects the quality of your cosmetic dental state…
Effects of Coffee on Teeth and Gums
Unfortunately, there are some harmful effects of coffee on teeth and gums you should be aware of if you are regularly consuming coffee on a day-to-day basis. Coffee is made of a few things in each cup of coffee that impact your dental health. Those effects can include:
One of the most common effects of coffee on teeth and gums, coffee-stained teeth are an annoyance of many coffee drinkers. Coffee contains chromogens and tannins that cause stained teeth due to discoloration of tooth enamel. Almost all beverages except water have the ability to stain teeth. Enamel is not as smooth as some people may think. It has pits, groves, fissures, and ridges that allow coffee to stain these surfaces making it difficult to remove these stains.
Coffee is also acidic and has the ability to break down tooth enamel causing tooth decay. Those pits and groves within your enamel will continue to decay as a result of copious intake of acid from your coffee consumption.
Plaque and Tartar
The yellow stain coffee can cause allows plaque and tartar to adhere to the tooth more firmly. Milk or sugar added to coffee allows the bacteria in the mouth to form more acid that further harms tooth enamel.
Beneficial Effects of Coffee
On the other hand, there certainly are beneficial effects of coffee. Not only are you receiving a natural burst of energy, but it is also believed that coffee has antioxidants that can mute the body’s own inflammatory process. This process would normally be harmful to the gums and jawbone supporting the teeth, so this could reduce the chances of losing teeth in the long-term.
Preventive Measures for Coffee Tooth Decay
If eliminating coffee just isn’t going to happen, have no fear – there are some preventive measures you can take to better protect your teeth from tooth decay. To keep your smile bright if you love coffee, you should consider the following:
1. Controlled consumption
If you practice drinking your coffee with controlled consumption, meaning drinking it at once rather than sipping it throughout the day, this will reduce the amount of continuous plaque buildup and the chances of having coffee-stained teeth. Also, limiting the amount of coffee you consume will ultimately decrease the number of acids in which you are exposing your teeth.
2. Rinsing and brushing your teeth
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to clean your teeth after drinking coffee is brushing your teeth directly after consumption. Let’s say you’re at work and you don’t have access to a toothbrush, rinsing your mouth with water is another way to break down the tannins and acids clinging to your enamel.
3. Avoid milk, cream, and sugar
Milk, cream, and sugar in your coffee will leave your mouth susceptible to bacteria, leaving your enamel to suffer from decay. If black coffee isn’t your thing, you could always try reducing the amount of cream and sugar you use to augment coffee.
4. Sip through a straw
If you sip on your coffee through a straw, it will allow the coffee to bypass your teeth and avoid coffee-stained teeth and the harmful effects overall. This is also a good idea for when you are drinking other beverages such as juice, soda, and tea.
5. Regular dental visits
It’s very important to attend regular dental visits. Schedule an appointment with Dental Care of Ephrata and Dr. David Schlosser will be happy to perform teeth cleaning, professional teeth whitening, and consultations for general dental care tips. Keep your smile pearly white and call us today!