Do you enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings? More than half of American adults drink at least one cup of coffee every day. While it is a cultural staple, many people may not realize that coffee can affect your oral health if you are not careful.
However, you can still drink coffee while maintaining the look and feel of your smile when you take proper precautions. Read on to find advice from your dentist that can keep your smile safe when you enjoy coffee.
Look Out for Dental Discoloration
Coffee’s dark color comes from naturally occurring substances called tannins. Tannins will transfer to your teeth as you drink coffee where they will absorb into your tooth enamel, leaving dark stains on your teeth. They can permeate deep into your enamel where your toothbrush cannot reach.
You might lower your risk of dental discoloration if you sip coffee from a straw, choose a lighter-colored brew, or dilute the beverage with an additive like milk. But these efforts will not eliminate the threat to your tooth color entirely.
Watch out for signs of stains on your teeth so that you can protect your smile’s appearance. If you do see tooth discoloration, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening options.
Avoid Harmful Added Sugar
Coffee has a bitter taste on its own, so many people will add sugar to their beverage to enhance its flavor. While the sweetness may be appealing, sugar is infamously harmful for your dental health. Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with your saliva, and the acid can erode your dental structure, weakening your teeth.
This makes you more susceptible to cavities and other dental issues. A dentist can treat a cavity with a dental filling. But you will want to preserve as much of your natural dental structure as you can for as long as possible.
Therefore, you should limit items in your diet that could pose a threat to your smile, including added sugar. Consider other ways to flavor your beverage that will not hurt your teeth, such as spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Drink Water to Fight Dry Mouth
Many coffee enthusiasts look forward to the energy boost that accompanies a cup of caffeinated coffee. While this beverage can help you get through a busy day, caffeine also dehydrates you. If you become dehydrated, you could face a number of health concerns, including for your smile.
You will produce less saliva when dehydrated, which can leave you with an uncomfortable dry feeling in your mouth. Dry mouth, the condition of having a dry oral environment, can also threaten your oral health.
Bacteria can more easily spread if you have dry mouth, heightening your risk for oral infections such as gum disease. You will need treatment from your dentist to get rid of gum disease. So you should seek preventative care when it comes to periodontal health.
This will entail addressing gum disease risk factors like dry mouth and dehydrating agents like coffee that can create the issue. Drink plenty of water along with your coffee so that you can stay hydrated and healthy.