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Does Coffee Harm My Smile?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and millions of Americans consider this beverage to be a staple in their daily routines. Despite its prevalence, many people do not realize that this drink can have negative effects on your oral health.

However, you can keep your smile looking and feeling its best while still enjoying your favorite beverage. Follow a preventative dental care plan to keep your teeth and gums pristine. Read on to find three tips from your Marrero, LA dentist regarding maintaining good oral health when you drink coffee.

oral health tips from Marrero Louisiana dentist

Tips to Keep Your Smile Safe When Drinking Coffee

Pay Attention to Dental Discoloration

Coffee’s dark color comes from substances called tannins. These tannins will absorb into your teeth when you drink coffee, and they can leave dark stains behind on the enamel. You cannot remove this discoloration with your usual teeth brushing regimen.

Sipping through a straw, adding milk, and choosing a lighter-colored brew may lower the risk of staining and yellowing in the teeth. But these efforts will not eliminate the likelihood entirely. Therefore, pay attention to your smile to look for early signs of these stains.

You may want to limit the amount of coffee you drink too to preserve your tooth color. If you spot discoloration on your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatment options.

Avoid Excess Sugar

Many coffee enthusiasts will add sugar to their coffee to enhance its flavor. Though the sweetness might be pleasant, sugar is known for its harmful effects on the teeth.

When sugar reacts with saliva, it becomes acidic and can erode your tooth enamel. This may leave your smile vulnerable to dental dangers like cavities, which may mean you spend more time in your dentist’s chair repairing your smile.

You can avoid this risk from your cup of coffee by skipping the added sugar. This can save you both hassle and money when you reduce the chances of a dental emergency.

Drink Plenty of Water

One of the major appeals of coffee is the caffeine boost that comes with drinking a cup. The burst of energy can help you power through your busy schedule. But caffeine tends to dehydrate you too, which can come with consequences for your smile.

If you are dehydrated, you will produce less saliva, which can leave you with dry mouth. Not only does the sensation feel unpleasant, but it allows bacteria to spread easily across your teeth. You can heighten your risk of oral infections like gum disease this way.

Gum disease will not go away on its own and can cause irreversible damage to your smile and even tooth loss. You can lower your risk of this gum infection by drinking plenty of water. Dentists recommend that you have at least eight eight-ounce glasses of coffee a day. But you might want to drink more if you consume caffeinated beverages like coffee.