Regardless of if it is part of your morning routine or just a treat from time to time, coffee is a well-known teeth stainer. However, what you may not realize is how it can affect your mouth in a number of other ways. While there is no question coffee gives you a bit of “pep” when you need it most, the cost of this tasty, energizing beverage may not be worth it. Some of the nefarious things that your good ole cup o’ Joe may be up to are found here.
Staining is, by far, the most obvious result of drinking coffee. The enamel on your teeth is extremely porous. This means foods and drinks that are dark in color can penetrate it and the result is visible stains. Some of these surface stains can be eliminated by visiting the dentist on a regular basis to have your teeth cleaned professionally.
Dentists also offer teeth whitening, which can effectively minimize some surface staining. However, if the stains are deeper in the teeth, the only solution may be to invest in veneers for your teeth. The best thing to do is discuss the options with your dentist to find one that best suits you and your lifestyle.
Acidic foods and drinks can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Coffee is extremely acidic. Drinking it regularly can result in erosion of the enamel on your teeth over time. In order to help and reduce this erosion resulting from drinking coffee, try to limit the direct contact coffee has with your teeth. Do this by drinking the coffee with a straw and avoid swishing it around in your mouth. It is also a good idea to rinse out your mouth out with cool water after your coffee is finished. Remember to wait about one hour to actually brush your teeth after you eat or drink anything acidic, since the enamel on your teeth will be more vulnerable to damage.
Bad breath is another side effect of drinking coffee on a regular basis. This occurs due to the caffeine present in coffee drying out all the saliva present in your mouth. When there is no saliva present, bacteria will begin to grow rather quickly, which causes bad breath. A solution to this “coffee-breath” will be to chew sugar-free gum.
Kills Plaque Bacteria
This is actually a good side effect that goes along with drinking coffee. According to research, coffee that has a high amount of caffeine will help to eliminate bacteria that creates plaque. However, if you add creamer to sugar to your coffee, this benefit is canceled out. This gives you a great reason to drink more black coffee!
No one is saying you have to stop enjoying your cup of coffee altogether. The key is to drink smart – use a straw and get your teeth cleaned by your dentist on a regular basis. The good news is, even if your teeth are already suffering serious coffee-stains, there are options available to help correct this problem. Speak with your dentist to learn more.