Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and millions of Americans consider this drink to be a staple in their daily routine. But many people do not realize that coffee can pose a risk to your oral health if you are not careful.
But if you take precautions and consult with your dentist, you do not have to give up your favorite beverage to preserve your smile. Read on to learn three tips that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best while you enjoy coffee.
How to Protect Your Smile While Drinking Coffee
Pay Attention to Your Tooth Color
Coffee’s dark color comes from substances called tannins. These tannins can transfer to your teeth and absorb into the enamel when you drink coffee, leaving stains behind on your smile. You cannot get rid of this discoloration with your usual oral hygiene regimen.
You can add milk to your drink or sip through a straw to reduce your chances of staining your teeth from coffee. But this will not eliminate the risk entirely. To protect your tooth color, you may want to limit the amount of coffee you drink regularly.
Pay attention to your smile too. If you see early signs of tooth discoloration, talk to your dentist. They can brighten dullness, yellowing, and staining in your smile with teeth whitening treatments.
Avoid Adding Sugar to Your Coffee
Coffee has a naturally bitter flavor, so many coffee fans will add sugar to their drink to enhance its taste. Though the sweetness may be pleasurable, sugar notoriously poses a threat to your dental health.
Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with saliva, and the acid will erode the enamel of your teeth. This will permanently damage your dental structure at heighten your chances of forming cavities.
Though a dentist can treat a cavity with a dental filling, you should preserve your natural dental structure as much as possible. This means steering clear of added sugar wherever you can, including in your coffee.
Drink Water Along with Coffee
One of the draws of drinking coffee is the jolt of caffeine that comes from consuming this beverage. Though the energy boost can help you get through a busy schedule, caffeine can also dehydrate you. When you are dehydrated, you produce less saliva, which can leave you with dry mouth.
A dry oral environment will allow the natural bacteria in your mouth to spread with ease across your teeth. This will increase your risk for infections like gum disease. Gum disease will need dental intervention to treat and can cause irreversible damage to your smile, even tooth loss.
Dentists recommend preventative care when it comes to gum health, which includes staying hydrated and fighting dry mouth conditions. Drink plenty of water to make up for the caffeine you ingest with coffee. Experts agree you should have at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day.