January 21, 2021
If you’re like many adults, you need coffee to jumpstart your day. Whether you brew a fresh cup of java at home or head to the closest Starbucks, the National Coffee Association reports 54% of Americans over the age of 18 begin their day the same way. Besides giving you a boost of energy, it also provides many health benefits, like a decreased risk of cancer, stroke, and diabetes; however, your dentist has a few concerns about frequently drinking coffee. Believe it or not, it can harm your teeth. If you can’t skip your cup of Joe in the morning, here’s what you need to know to keep your smile healthy.
How Does Coffee Harm Your Teeth?
Despite the health benefits, drinking too much coffee can leave a lasting mark on your smile. In fact, research shows it can increase your risk of cavities because it’s acidic, which can erode your enamel. As your enamel becomes thinner, it can also lead to tooth sensitivity. If you add sugar or creamers to sweeten it, your risk of tooth decay also increases. When sugar combines with your saliva, it creates an acidic plaque that can breakdown your enamel.
Coffee is also linked to halitosis. The scent can linger, and the acidity and sugar also create the perfect breeding ground for odor and cavity-causing bacteria.
Besides cavities and bad breath, coffee can also discolor your teeth. When its acidity is combined with enamel loss, it will make more of your yellowish dentin visible. As a result, your teeth can lose their white appearance, which can negatively impact your self-esteem.
How Can I Protect My Smile?
If you can’t give up your morning cup of coffee, it’s best to make a few simple changes to protect your teeth, like drinking it through a straw. This will limit its contact with your teeth. Your dentist also recommends reducing your consumption. Instead of sipping it throughout the day, only drink one cup in the morning to prevent bacteria accumulation in your mouth.
After you finish your coffee, brush your teeth to remove any residue; however, wait at least 30 minutes before reaching for your toothbrush. This gives time for the acid in your mouth to be neutralized, so you don’t brush away your softened enamel. If you can get to your toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water or eat crunchy vegetables, like carrots, to reduce tooth discoloration.
With a proactive approach to your oral hygiene, you can still enjoy your morning routine without damaging your smile.
About Dr. Mark D. Medaugh
Don’t Google “dentist near me” if you need routine dental care. Instead, choose the trusted choice in the community. Dr. Medaugh is here to help. He earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of various professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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