For many people, coffee is as essential to their daily routine as air, but oxygen is a little less harmful to our teeth than coffee. Not only can coffee stain our teeth, but the acid in it actually works to break down our tooth enamel, which leaves us susceptible to cavities.
Now, coffee isn’t all bad, and you can actually help to minimize the potential damage it can cause if you are aware of how it reacts with your teeth and by taking a few steps to proactively protect your teeth. We explain those tips for keeping your teeth white if you’re a coffee drinker in today’s blog.
Coffee and Your Teeth
When it comes to stained teeth, you’re really only going to notice the staining if you’ve been a regular coffee drinker for years and you don’t have the best brushing habits. If you’re a mild to moderate coffee drinker and you regularly brush your teeth and visit the dentist, odds are your teeth are not going to be noticeably darkened by regularly consuming coffee. So that’s our first tip – If you’re going to drink coffee or other dark liquids, make sure you are practicing good dental hygiene by brushing twice a day and getting regular dental checkups.
However, brushing right after drinking coffee isn’t always the best idea. Aside from leaving your mouth with a wicked combination of coffee and mint flavor, unless you brush thoroughly and rinse well with water, you may actually help to spread the acid in coffee around different surfaces of your teeth.
Instead of brushing right away, consider drinking some water after your coffee, as the water will help remove acid from the surfaces of your teeth. Water helps to remove acids left by foods and liquids, but it can also remove sugars or food particles as well, so try to add more water to your daily diet to prevent buildup on the surfaces of your teeth.
Another option to consider is to add some milk to your coffee. Milk has a chemical in it that bonds to the acid in our coffee, and that helps deliver that acid to your stomach, instead of letting it sit around on the surface of your teeth. Milk is also usually a better option than coffee creamer, which is oftentimes packed with sugars that can also damage your teeth.
So at the end of the day, you don’t need to give up drinking coffee, but you should be cognizant of how it can stain and damage your teeth and take some steps to mitigate that risk. Consider limiting how much coffee you have in one day, adding more water to your daily routine, especially after drinking coffee, and try adding milk to your coffee in place of sweetened creamer. And also, be sure that you are regularly brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist for semi-annual checkups!