How bad is coffee for my teeth?

Most people love their morning coffee. But, like many of our favourite foods and drinks, coffee can potentially cause problems for your teeth.

What’s the problem with coffee

Coffee contains tannins that stain teeth and creates acid that can damage tooth enamel. The addition of sweeteners also creates a bacterial playground in your mouth, setting up prime conditions for dental decay and halitosis (bad breath).

However, the most apparent effects of when coffee and teeth meet are not particularly threatening but cosmetic. Tannins in coffee will eventually stain teeth, turning those high-beam pearly whites into yellow-hued sodium lights.

Do I have to give up coffee?

Not all. Certain coffees actually have compounds that help prevent tooth decay. Besides, if we gave up everything that was potentially harmful to our teeth we’d have a bleak existence indeed. Nor is total elimination of our favourite morning beverage a practical measure. Running damage control on the effects coffee has on your teeth is a far more realistic solution.

What can I do about it?

Fortunately, there are several proactive measures you can take when coffee and teeth come together to make sure your dental health isn’t adversely affected. Like drinking your coffee without bacteria-feeding sweeteners that allow their waste products to attack tooth enamel. Limiting coffee intake is a good idea. If that’s not an appealing idea, it’s even more important for you to:

  • Thoroughly brush your teeth after you’ve had coffee.
  • Vigorously swish your mouth out with water when you don’t have immediate access to a brush and paste.
  • Have a snack. Eating before and after drinking coffee reduces the effects it has on your teeth.

Helpful hint: Apples have fibres that break down the sticky coating coffee leaves behind.

Many Dentists drink coffee too!

The most important thing you can do to counteract the damage coffee consumption can do to your teeth is to visit your dentist. Having a six-month dental exam and cleaning is key to maintaining healthy teeth and overall oral health. Plus, regular dental cleanings alleviate the stains that coffee can leave behind. Your dentist may even suggest you periodically brush with stain-removing baking soda, but wait until he suggests it – It is more abrasive than normal toothpastes and can cause tooth wear! If you are still concerned about the adverse effects coffee may have on your teeth, contact your dentist for more comprehensive information on how to maintain optimal dental health when coffee and teeth meet.