Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States. Over half of American adults report that they enjoy at least one cup of this beverage every day. Despite its societal prevalence, many people do not realize that consuming a great amount of coffee could potentially put their oral health in danger.
However, if you pay attention, you can avoid harming your teeth and gums without giving up your favorite beverage. Check out advice from your expert dentist that can keep your smile looking and feeling its best when you drink coffee.
Look Out for Tooth Stains
Coffee has a famously dark brown color which comes from naturally occurring substances called tannins. Tannins will transfer to your teeth and absorb into the enamel as you drink coffee though, leaving you with dark stains on the surface of your teeth. This deep discoloration will not scrub away with your regular oral hygiene routine.
You can lower your chances of forming these dental stains if you sip coffee through a straw, choose a lighter-colored brew, or add milk to your drink. But these efforts will not eliminate the cosmetic dental danger entirely.
So you may want to limit the amount of coffee you drink and keep an eye on your smile to ensure you do not develop this discoloration. If you do form tooth stains, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening treatments that can brighten your smile once again.
Steer Clear of Added Sugar
Coffee tastes bitter on its own, so many coffee drinkers add sugar to their beverages to enhance the flavor. While the sweetness can be appealing, sugar famously poses a threat to your dental health.
When sugar reacts with saliva, it becomes acidic. Then this acid can erode your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to many dental dangers, including cavities.
Once deteriorated, the enamel will not regrow. So you must preserve your natural dental structure for as long as you can. And this means avoiding added sugar and other acidic foods and beverages that can hurt your smile. Find other ways to adjust the taste of your coffee if needed in order to protect your oral health.
Drink Water Along with Coffee
Many people appreciate that drinking coffee comes with caffeine, providing an energy boost that can help them get through a busy day. But caffeine will also dehydrate you, which can present many health risks, including to your smile.
Dehydration will mean you produce less saliva, and you can experience dry mouth. Not only will this feel uncomfortable, but you can also have a higher risk of oral infections like gum disease. The dry environment allows natural oral bacteria to spread more easily through the mouth.
So to protect your gums, you will need to address risk factors, meaning you should stay hydrated. So if you consume dehydrating agents like coffee, drink plenty of water along with this beverage. The average person needs at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day.