Coffee and Your Teeth
Coffee and Your Teeth
A growing body of evidence indicates that drinking coffee in moderation is good for your overall health, largely due to its antioxidant effects. But what does drinking coffee do to your teeth? Does coffee stain the teeth? Can coffee cause cavities? Read on to learn more about the relationship between coffee and teeth.
Negative Effects of Coffee on Teeth
In spite of its mostly positive health benefits, coffee does have a known effect upon the appearance of the teeth. The main aesthetic effect of drinking coffee is that it can stain teeth over time. This is due to the presence of the tannins in coffee. These are astringent substances that can react to your tooth enamel and discolor it.
Another thing about coffee is that it is surprisingly acidic. It alters the pH balance of your mouth so that anything eaten afterwords that is even slightly acidic can damage your teeth more quickly than it would otherwise. This can lead to tooth and enamel erosion.
Drinking coffee can also change the way that your breath smells. It can cause a lingering dry and uncomfortable feeling in your mouth because of the astringency of those tannins. Dry mouth is also known to worsen bad breath. And the roasting of coffee beans lead to the development of sulfur-containing compounds that can result in bad breath.
Does coffee cause cavities?
Coffee by itself does not cause cavities; however, many people add sweeteners to their cup of coffee, increasing the odds that they will develop cavities.
4 Tips for Whiter Teeth if You Drink Coffee
- Brush your teeth. You should be doing this anyway, but the key point is that brushing your teeth immediately after drinking coffee will remove some of the surface components that can damage teeth and stain them.
- In a similar vein, drink plenty of water and swish it around in your mouth to balance the pH of coffee and remove the staining compounds from your mouth.
- Don't forget about other dark-colored beverages. Avoid combining them with coffee, which could intensify its staining effects.
- Consider getting a professional teeth whitening treatment. Even if you are not a coffee drinker, Time marches on. If you're not whitening, you're yellowing! You can also incorporate products that are known to minimize teeth staining, such as specialized toothpastes and mouth rinses.
The Bottom Line
Coffee appears to be a healthy drink overall, but you must consider some of its negative effects as well. If you just can't live without your morning cup of coffee, just remember to drink in moderation and brush or rinse your mouth out immediately after drinking to minimize its effects on your teeth.
Thanks for your support!
- Dr. Houlik