Many of us need a morning pick-me up (or three), but can consumption of this caffeinated beverage damage your teeth?
If you are an avid coffee drinker, you’ve probably heard the dentist comment about the stains on your teeth. The enamel of your teeth is not smooth as many think, but has ridges that can hold particles of food or drink you consume, such as coffee. You may think that adding cream, making a lighter colored drink, will decrease the stains. However, the same pigments that were in the black coffee are still present in the coffee with cream. Therefore, it will still stain your teeth. Although abstaining from coffee would completely prevent this from happening, many of us would not make it through the day. We recommend you drink your coffee at a certain time rather than sipping through the day, and rinsing your mouth immediately after. You can use whitening toothpaste as well. Also be sure to visit the dentist regularly in order to remove those pesky surface stains.
In addition to staining your teeth, coffee can help the bacteria in your mouth create acid, which can lead to tooth and enamel erosion. This can cause your teeth to become thin and brittle, but can be minimized by brushing directly after consumption.
We know most of you need your morning cup of joe, and we don’t want you to feel like you have to give it up. However, moderation is key. We recommend limiting yourself to two cups of coffee per day, consistent brushing, and regular trips to the dentist to keep your smile bright and healthy despite your coffee use.
Tip: If you drink iced coffee, you’re in luck! Drinking coffee through a straw can help prevent all of these problems because the liquid bypasses your teeth!