Coffee and Your Dental Health
April 7, 2021
Do you need a cup of coffee to jumpstart your morning? You’re not alone. According to the National Coffee Association, 54% of adults are daily coffee drinkers. Besides giving you a boost of energy, it is also linked to several health benefits, like a decreased risk of heart disease; however, your family dentist in Southlake warns of possible complications for your dental health. If you’re not careful, coffee can leave a lasting mark on your smile.
Does coffee affect dental health?
Frequent coffee consumption can have negative effects on your smile, such as an increased risk of cavities. Creamers and added sugars can create an acidic plaque when they combine with your saliva. Over time, it can erode your enamel, making you prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities.
Coffee can also increase harmful bacteria in your mouth. The strong odor can linger, leading to reoccurring bad breath. When the thick scent is combined with oral bacteria, it can result in an unhealthy imbalance.
Besides influencing the health of your teeth, coffee can also tarnish the appearance of your smile. Coffee contains tannin, which is a type of polyphenol that breaks down in water. As a result, it can stain your teeth. In addition to its dark color, coffee can cause tooth discoloration as it erodes your enamel. As more of your enamel is lost, your underlying yellowish dentin will be more visible. Your teeth can look brown or yellow, which might cause you to feel insecure about your smile.
How can I protect my teeth?
If you can’t skip coffee before starting your day, your dentist in Southlake recommends following a few precautions to safeguard your smile, such as:
- Limit your consumption of coffee by only drinking one cup in the morning instead of sipping it throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water to cleanse your mouth of any residual liquid.
- Drink your coffee through a straw to limit its contact with your teeth.
- Don’t brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking coffee to allow the acid in your mouth to neutralize.
- Eat crunchy vegetables after finishing your coffee to reduce tooth discoloration.
In addition to preventing any complications caused by coffee, don’t forget to practice the right oral hygiene habits at home. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice daily. Use high-quality dental floss to clean between each tooth nightly.
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If you have any concerns about the impact coffee is having on your smile, discuss them with your dentist to ensure your teeth stay healthy and beautiful.
About Dr. Preetha Thomas
Dr. Thomas earned her dental degree from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She has completed advanced training in many specialties, like maxillofacial oral surgery and orthodontics. Dr. Thomas uses the mouth and body connection to create personalized treatment plans. If you need a dental appointment, contact our office today to schedule your visit.
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