Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and millions of Americans consider this drink a staple in their daily routine. Despite its prevalence, many people do not realize that drinking coffee on a regular basis can have consequences for oral health.
However, you do not have to give up your favorite beverage to maintain the look and feel of your smile. Dr. Gregory Hillyard, a dentist practicing in Media, PA, lists three factors you should remain aware of while drinking coffee if you hope to preserve your oral health.
Oral Health Tips for Coffee Drinkers
Be Aware of Staining Your Smile
Coffee’s dark color comes from a substance called tannins, which can absorb into your tooth enamel over time and leave stains on the surface of your smile. Your typical oral hygiene regimen will not be enough to eliminate this deep discoloration.
To lower the likelihood of staining your teeth, you can add milk to your beverage, sip through a straw, or choose a lighter-colored coffee brew. But these efforts will not completely eradicate the risk of tooth discoloration from your coffee. If you notice yellowing or staining in your teeth, ask your dental professional about professional teeth whitening treatment to enhance and restore your tooth color.
Avoid Adding Sugar to Your Drink
Coffee has a bitter taste on its own, so many coffee enthusiasts add sugar to their drink to sweeten its flavor. However, sugar is notoriously harmful to your teeth.
It reacts with saliva to become acidic, which can eat away at the enamel of your teeth and give you cavities. Tooth decay can worsen and leave you with severe and irreversible dental damage without prompt treatment from your dental professional. For this reason, dentists recommend avoiding added sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee.
Drink Water to Prevent Dehydration
Many coffee drinkers appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes with a cup of coffee. But caffeine can dehydrate you, a condition that creates many health risks, including for your smile.
Low levels of hydration decrease your production of saliva which can lead to dry mouth. This dry environment allows natural bacteria to spread more easily across your teeth, heightening the likelihood of contracting oral infections such as gum disease.
Periodontal disease can present as puffy, red, or bleeding gum tissue, but the disease may advance without intervention from your dentist, leading to tooth loss and other major oral health issues. Dentists and other health professionals agree that you should drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day to stay hydrated and prevent these issues, especially after you drink coffee.
Get More Oral Health Advice from Your Dentist in Media, PA
Dr. Hillyard is a highly qualified dentist in Media, PA who can provide professional teeth whitening services and other cosmetic dental treatments. Our practice also specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry, including periodontal care, for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our team, contact our office by phone at 610.756.0649 or reach our staff online.