Can Coffee Hurt My Smile?

A majority of people around the world drink coffee on a regular basis. Many American adults consider a cup of coffee to be a staple in their daily routine. Though the beverage remains popular globally, a lot of people do not realize that this drink can pose a danger to the look and feel of their teeth.

However, you do not have to give up your favorite drink to keep your smile healthy and pristine. Read on to see how regular coffee consumption can impact your smile and how preventative measures can avoid these dental dangers.

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Reducing Oral Health Risks from Drinking Coffee

Prevent Stains on Your Teeth

Coffee gets its dark color from naturally occurring substances called tannins. When you drink coffee, tannins will absorb into your teeth over time. They can leave deep stains on your tooth enamel that your oral hygiene routine cannot reach to eliminate.

You can lower the risk of this dental discoloration by adding milk to your beverage, sipping through a straw, or choosing a lighter-colored brew. But these efforts will not erase the chances of staining your smile completely.

For this reason, dentists suggest limiting the amount of coffee you drink to preserve your tooth color. If you do notice yellowing or staining in your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatment options.

Avoid Adding Sugar to Your Drink

Coffee has a bitter taste on its own. Though some people enjoy black coffee, many others will add sugar to their cups to enhance the coffee’s flavor. While they may like the sweetness, sugar notoriously can harm your teeth.

When sugar reacts with your saliva, it becomes acidic and will eat away at your tooth enamel. This can leave your smile vulnerable to cavities and other dental problems.

Though your dentist can treat cavities, you should preserve the natural structure of your teeth as much as you can. Reduce your risk of tooth decay by avoiding added sugar wherever possible, including in your cup of coffee.

Drink Water to Stay Hydrated

One of the appeals of coffee is the jolt of caffeine that comes from finishing a cup. This boost can help you focus on your busy schedule. But caffeine can dehydrate you which poses risks to your health, including your mouth.

Your saliva production will decrease when you have low levels of hydration. This can leave you with dry mouth, an uncomfortable sensation that also puts your oral health in danger.

Bacteria can spread more easily when you have dry mouth, heightening your risk of contracting oral infections like gum disease. Gum disease will require treatment from a dentist to eradicate and can wreak irreversible damage to your smile.

Prevent this dental damage and gum disease by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water to compensate for any dehydration that may stem from drinking coffee. You should have at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day and perhaps more if you drink coffee too.