Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world. More than half of all adults in the United States consider a cup of coffee to be a staple in their daily routine. But you might not realize that coffee can harm your oral health if you do not pay attention to your smile.
You can still enjoy your favorite drink with minimal consequences when you stay vigilant and take precautions. Read on to find advice from your dentist that can ensure your smile stays healthy when you drink coffee.
Beware of Tooth Discoloration
Coffee’s dark color comes from naturally occurring substances called tannins. When you drink coffee, the tannins in the beverage will transfer to your teeth and absorb into the enamel, leaving dark stains behind on the surface. You cannot get rid of this discoloration with your usual oral hygiene efforts.
You can try sipping through a straw or adding milk to your beverage to reduce the risk of forming stains on your teeth when drinking coffee. But these actions will not eliminate the chances entirely.
So you should pay attention to your smile in order to preserve your tooth color when consuming this drink. If you do form tooth stains, you can discuss teeth whitening treatment from your dentist that will brighten your smile.
Steer Clear of Added Sugar in Coffee
Coffee has a bitter flavor on its own, so many people will add sugar to their cups to boost the taste. While the sweetness can be appealing, sugar is notoriously harmful to your dental health.
Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with saliva, and the lingering acid will erode your tooth enamel. This will leave your smile weaker and vulnerable to cavities and other dental dangers.
While a dentist can treat cavities, you should preserve your natural dental structure for as long as you can. Therefore, you should protect your teeth by limiting sugar in your diet. This will mean avoiding adding sugar to your coffee. Consider alternative ways to alter the flavor of your coffee that do not involve sugar.
Drink Water to Prevent Dehydration
Many people appreciate the jolt of caffeine that comes from drinking a cup of coffee. Though you might enjoy the energy boost, caffeine can also dehydrate you. Low hydration levels can lead to many health problems, including for your smile.
Your mouth produces less saliva when you are dehydrated, which will leave you with a tacky, sticky feeling known as dry mouth. Not only does this feel unpleasant, but the dry oral environment allows bacteria to spread more easily across the teeth. Then you can have a higher risk of oral infections like gum disease.
Gum disease will require treatment from a dentist to eradicate and can wreak severe and irreversible havoc on your oral health. So avoid contracting this infection by stopping risk factors like dry mouth. Drink plenty of water and consume even more water than recommended if you drink dehydrating agents like caffeinated coffee.