Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States, with approximately half of all American adults drinking it on a regular basis. Whether hot, iced, cold brew, or instant, many people have included coffee as a staple in their daily routine.
However, coffee can be detrimental to oral health in several distinct ways. Dr. James White, a dentist in Las Vegas, NV, describes three ways you can protect your teeth while drinking coffee.
Beware of Teeth Stains
Coffee gets its dark color from substances called tannins which absorb into tooth enamel over time and leave stains behind on the surface of your teeth. These stains cannot be removed with typical teeth brushing.
Adding milk to your beverage, drinking with a straw, or selecting a lighter-colored brew can lower the risk of tooth discoloration but will not eliminate the threat entirely. If you notice staining, yellowing, or discoloration in your teeth, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Skip Added Sugar
Coffee tastes bitter on its own, so many coffee enthusiasts add sugar to their drink to enhance the flavor. However, sugar is notoriously unhealthy for your teeth.
This is because sugar reacts with bacteria in your mouth to become acidic and eat away your tooth enamel. This can leave your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and other major dental concerns. To preserve your teeth, you should avoid added sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee.
Many coffee drinkers appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes from a cup of coffee. Caffeine can dehydrate you though, which is detrimental to the wellness of multiple systems in your body, including your mouth.
Low hydration levels can decrease saliva production leaving you with an unpleasant condition called dry mouth. This creates an environment where bacteria can spread more freely through your mouth, causing bad breath and increasing your risk for oral infections like gum disease. To counter these concerns, you should drink plenty of water when you drink coffee.
Visit Your Dentist in Las Vegas, NV
Dr. White offers professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments to patients in Las Vegas, NV. Our practice also specializes in restorative and general dentistry, including both preventative and emergency dental care. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 702.213.7220.