More than half of American adults drink at least one cup of coffee every day. Despite its prevalence in the daily lives of many people, a vast number of these individuals are unaware of the potential threats that this beverage can have on their smiles.
While coffee can cause cosmetic and structural damage to teeth, you do not have to give up the drink completely in order to preserve your smile. Claremont Dental Institute, a dentist’s office located in Claremont, CA, lists three oral health risks that you should be aware of if you drink coffee regularly.
Beware of Staining Your Smile
The dark color of coffee comes from tannins, a substance that can absorb into the enamel of your teeth over time and leave stains behind. This discoloration cannot be removed with your usual oral hygiene routine.
You may lower your risk of staining your smile with coffee by sipping through a straw, choosing a lighter-colored brew, or adding milk to your drink. However, you will not be able to eliminate the chances entirely.
This is why dental professionals recommend drinking coffee in moderation to preserve your smile. If you notice yellowing, dullness, or staining in your teeth, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment to regain your ideal tooth color.
Skip Added Sugar
Coffee tastes bitter on its own, so many coffee drinkers will add sugar to their beverage to enhance its flavor. But sugar has a poor reputation when it comes to dental health and for a good reason.
Sugar reacts with the natural bacteria in your mouth to become acidic, which can erode the enamel of your teeth. This will leave your smile vulnerable to cavities and other structural dental concerns. Dentists recommend avoiding added sugar wherever possible in order to protect your oral health, and this means in your coffee as well.
Drink Water Too!
Many coffee enthusiasts appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes with drinking a cup of coffee. But caffeine can dehydrate you, which will leave you at risk of many health complications, including in your mouth.
Dehydration will decrease saliva production which may cause dry mouth. This condition allows bacteria to spread with ease across your teeth, heightening your risk for oral infections like gum disease. Advanced periodontal disease will cause major irreversible damage to your smile, including tooth loss.
You should drink plenty of water to maintain adequate hydration levels, especially if you are also consuming coffee. Medical professionals agree that you should drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day to stay hydrated.