Coffee is an immensely popular beverage in the United States with approximately half of all American adults drinking it regularly. Whether appreciating a warm mug or grabbing an iced drink on the go, coffee has become a staple in the routines of many individuals.
However, coffee can have several negative impacts on your oral health. Dr. Drew Shulman, a dentist in Northeast Philadelphia, explains how you can enjoy coffee while preserving the health and appearance of your teeth.
Beware of Teeth Stains
Beverages that are dark in color contain tannins which can absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains on your teeth. Traditional teeth brushing cannot remove stains of this kind.
Choosing a lighter-colored brew or adding milk to your drink may reduce the chance of tooth discoloration from drinking coffee. However, dentists recommend enjoying coffee in moderation to avoid these stains. If you notice staining, yellowing, or discoloration on your teeth, talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Avoid Adding Sugar
Coffee is a naturally bitter drink, so many coffee drinkers add sugar to this beverage to enhance its taste. Sugar is notoriously unhealthy for your teeth because it reacts to the bacteria in your mouth and becomes acidic.
This acid eats away at your tooth enamel, leading to dental concerns like tooth decay. Once enamel is gone, it cannot regrow on its own. To protect your teeth, you should avoid sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee.
Drink Water with Coffee
Many individuals appreciate the caffeine boost that comes with drinking a cup of coffee. But caffeine is known to dehydrate you, which can be harmful to multiple systems in your body.
Low hydration levels can cause dry mouth, allowing bacteria to spread through your mouth more easily and raise your risk for oral infections. Inflamed gums can indicate gum disease which can lead to tooth loss and other problems if left untreated. For this reason, you should drink water along with coffee to stay hydrated.