Do you enjoy a hot cup of coffee to start your morning? Do you love an iced coffee to keep you motivated throughout your busy schedule? Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages in the world, but many people do not realize that this drink can take a toll on your oral health if you are not careful.
However, if you remain aware of potential risks, you can take preventative action and protect your teeth and gums without giving up your favorite beverage. Check out these tips from your dentist that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best when you drink coffee.
Beware of Tooth Discoloration
Coffee’s dark color comes from naturally occurring substances known as tannins. Tannins can absorb into tooth enamel as you drink coffee, leaving dark stains behind on the surface of your teeth. Your toothbrush alone cannot reach deep enough to scrub away this dental discoloration.
You can sip coffee through a straw or choose a lighter-colored brew to reduce the chances of staining your smile. But you cannot eliminate the risk entirely.
Pay attention to your smile’s appearance as you drink coffee to make sure you are not impacting your dental aesthetics. If you do see discoloration in your teeth, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening treatments that can brighten your smile again.
Avoid Harmful Added Sugar in Coffee
Coffee has a bitter taste on its own, so many coffee enthusiasts add sugar to their beverage to enhance its flavor. While the extra sweetness may taste appealing, sugar famously hurts your teeth. It becomes acidic when it reacts with the saliva in your mouth.
Then the resulting acid will erode your teeth, weakening your enamel and making your smile vulnerable to tooth decay. This means that you can have a much higher chance of forming cavities that will require dental work to fix. Protect the natural structure of your smile by avoiding added sugar wherever you can, including in your coffee.
Fight Dry Mouth by Drinking Water
Many people appreciate the energy boost that comes from the caffeine in a cup of coffee. But caffeine can also dehydrate you, which may introduce health concerns, including in your smile.
Dehydration may mean you produce less saliva, which will leave you with dry mouth. Not only will this feel unpleasant, but a dry oral environment will also allow natural bacteria to travel more freely across your teeth. Then you carry a higher risk of oral infections like gum disease.
While common, gum disease can wreak serious havoc on your gums, teeth, and jaw. It will require intervention from your dentist to treat properly. Prevent contracting this infection of the gum tissue in the first place by eliminating risk factors like dry mouth.
When drinking coffee, drink plenty of water too to fight dry mouth, stay hydrated, and protect your smile. Learn more about how you can resist potential damage from coffee by giving your dentist a call today.