Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world. More than half of American adults consider this drink to be a staple in their daily routine. But coffee can have detrimental effects on your oral health if you are not careful.
With help from your dentist, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums without giving up your favorite beverage. Read on for advice from a dental expert that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best when you drink coffee.
Beware of Tooth Stains
The dark color of coffee comes from tannins. These substances can absorb into your tooth enamel as well over time to leave stains on the surface of your teeth.
You cannot remove these stubborn stains with your typical oral hygiene routine. Although you may sip coffee through a straw or add milk to lighten your beverage, these efforts will lower the risk of discoloration but not eradicate it completely.
Therefore, you should pay attention to your smile’s appearance and limit your consumption of coffee if you want to protect your tooth color. If you notice staining, yellowing, or dullness in your smile, you can ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatment that can brighten your teeth.
Skip the Added Sugar to Protect Tooth Enamel
Coffee has a bitter taste on its own. So many coffee drinkers will add sugar to their cups to enhance their flavor. Though the sweetness may taste nice, sugar is notoriously detrimental to dental health.
Sugar reacts with the natural bacteria in your mouth to become acidic. This acid then wears away at your tooth enamel, exposing the vulnerable inner layers of your teeth. Enamel cannot regrow once it is gone.
You could have a higher likelihood of forming cavities when you consume added sugar. So you should avoid it wherever possible, including in your coffee cup, to preserve the structure of your smile.
Drink Water Too to Preserve Your Gums
Many coffee enthusiasts appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes from drinking a cup of coffee. Though it can be energizing, caffeine has the side effect of dehydrating you. Dehydration can negatively impact your health, including your smile.
Low levels of hydration will decrease saliva production, leaving you with a condition called dry mouth. A dry environment in your mouth will allow bacteria to spread with ease across your teeth, increasing your risk of oral infections like gum disease.
Gum disease is another dental problem that will need intervention from your dentist to treat. In some cases, even if your dentist cleans your gum pockets and gets rid of this infection, the disease can leave lasting damage to your smile, including tooth loss.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to prevent the contraction of this infection. Drinking plenty of water along with your coffee can keep you healthy and hydrated. Dentists and medical experts agree that you should drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day to maintain adequate hydration levels.