While there are some health benefits to drinking moderate amounts of coffee, such as boosting energy and supporting heart health, drinking too much can have adverse effects on your dental health and the appearance of your smile.
Coffee, like any drink other than water, increases your risk of developing cavities. Because it introduces bacteria and acids into your mouth, coffee can also erode tooth enamel causing sensitivity and brittle teeth over time. Additionally, coffee can cause bad breath or halitosis; it actually sticks to the tongue and lingers in the mouth causing the foul odor. To avoid these dental health concerns, brush your teeth after drinking your morning cup (or two) of joe.
The other primary concern of drinking coffee is tooth discoloration. The enamel erosion caused by coffee contributes to the discoloration since enamel acts as a protective layer for your teeth. This type of tooth discoloration is referred to as extrinsic because it comes from a source outside your body. The tannins in coffee, which are a type of micronutrient that naturally occur in plants, are what cause the stains. Tannins are also found in tea and wine. Smoking and tobacco can also lead to extrinsic staining.
Adding cream or milk to your coffee will not prevent staining. The same pigments and acids are present in all varieties of coffee. Plus, cream and sugar promote the growth of bacteria, which is not good for your overall dental health.
How can you prevent coffee from staining your teeth?
There are a few things you can do to limit or avoid discoloring your teeth and still enjoying coffee.
- Limit coffee consumption to one or two cups per day.
- Reduce the contact between the coffee and your teeth by using a straw.
- Drink coffee one time during the day, not continually throughout the day.
- Drink a lot of water after coffee consumption.
- Brush your teeth and floss 30 minutes after you drink coffee.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for preventative care.
If you have concerns about tooth discoloration, ask us how we can address it during your next visit. Along with proper oral hygiene, our cosmetic dentistry offerings can help you restore your smile to a bright white. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment with Gentry Dentistry of Suwannee and start your journey to whiter teeth.