Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States with approximately half of all American adults enjoying this drink on a regular basis. Whether cozying with a warm mug or grabbing an iced drink on the way to work, coffee is a staple in the routines of many individuals.
Coffee also happens to have several negative impacts on your oral health. Dr. Abraham Stein, a general dentist in Chicago at Millennium Park, describes how you can take care of your teeth without giving up coffee.
Beware of Teeth Stains
Coffee gets its dark color from tannins, which can absorb into tooth enamel over time and leave stains on your teeth. These cannot be removed with tooth brushing or flossing. Drinking from a straw, adding milk to your beverage, or selecting a lighter-colored brew can lower the risk of tooth discoloration when drinking coffee.
However, this does not remove the threat completely, so you should continue to exercise caution. If you notice yellowing, staining, or discoloration in your teeth, you can talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Skip Added Sugar
Coffee tastes bitter on its own, so many coffee enthusiasts add sugar to their drink to enhance the flavor. Sugar is notoriously bad for your teeth because it reacts with bacteria in your mouth to become acidic.
This acid then eats away at tooth enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay. Attempting to brush your teeth after this can further thin already weakened enamel with the pressure of the brushing action. You should avoid added sugar wherever you can, including in your coffee, to protect your teeth.
Drink Water Too
Many coffee drinkers appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes with a cup of coffee. However, caffeine tends to dehydrate you, which can lead to multiple health concerns throughout your body, including your mouth.
Low hydration levels can lower saliva production, which can give you dry mouth. This condition allows bacteria to spread more easily through your mouth, leaving you with unpleasant symptoms like bad breath. It can also raise your risk of oral infections like gum disease. To counter these side effects, you should drink plenty of water if you have coffee.