Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. More than half of American adults consider this drink a staple of their daily routine. Though culturally prevalent, many people do not realize that coffee could harm your oral health if you are not careful.
But you do not have to eliminate your favorite beverage from your diet to protect your smile. Read on to find three tips from your Northborough, MA, dentist that will help you avoid dental damage that may occur when you drink coffee.
How to Protect Your Smile While Drinking Coffee
Beware of Tooth Discoloration
Coffee’s dark color comes from naturally occurring substances called tannins. These tannins can transfer and absorb into your teeth as you consume coffee, leaving dark stains behind on the surface. They will not go away with your usual oral hygiene routine.
You can lower your risk of forming these stains when you drink through a straw, choose a lighter-colored brew, or add milk to your beverage. But these efforts will not get rid of this danger entirely.
Pay attention to the color of your teeth as you drink coffee to ensure you do not accrue dental discoloration. If you notice stains or yellowing in your smile, talk to your dentist about teeth-whitening treatment options that can restore the look of your smile.
Skip Sugar to Preserve Your Dental Structure
Coffee has a naturally bitter taste, so many people add sugar to their drinks to enhance its flavor. Though the sweetness may taste appealing, sugar notoriously poses a threat to your dental health.
Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with your saliva, and it can then eat away at your teeth and cause cavities and other dental damage. This is why dentists ask their patients to steer clear of added sugar in their diets, including in their cups of coffee. Look into alternative flavor enhancements if you want to improve the taste of your coffee without hurting your smile.
Drink Water to Fight Dry Mouth
Many coffee drinkers appreciate the energy boost that comes with drinking a cup of coffee. This comes from the caffeine content in coffee, which though you might feel more focused with it, could also make you dehydrated.
Low hydration levels will lower your saliva production, and you might feel dry mouth. This sensation not only feels sticky and unpleasant; it can hurt your oral health.
The dry environment allows your oral bacteria to spread throughout your mouth more easily. Then you will have a higher risk of oral infections, including gum disease, which can cause severe dental harm like tooth loss.
Dentists promote preventative care when it comes to gum health. So you should avoid dry mouth and situations that put your gums in danger. You should counter potential dehydration from coffee by drinking plenty of water along with this beverage. Dental experts agree you should have at least eight glasses of water each day, more if you also have coffee.