Drinking coffee regularly can cause stains on your teeth. This is due to the color pigments present in coffee. Of course, coffee also stains your teeth due to other reasons, such as leaving the coffee in the teeth overnight, or sipping coffee throughout the day.
Most people know that coffee can stain your teeth, but what many people don’t realize is that hot beverages can also damage your enamel and cause sensitivity. Using a straw to drink your coffee can protect your teeth from some of the very hot liquid. If you don’t have a reusable straw handy, be sure to choose a paper one instead. The sugar in regular straws may cling to your teeth and increase the risk of decay.
Drinking through a straw also helps minimize contact with your gums and cheeks. This helps you avoid irritation and potential sores on your lips or gums. However, be sure to sip slowly and swish the water around before you swallow it. This helps ensure that you don’t accidentally swallow any bacteria that can wreak havoc on your dental health.
While coffee can be delicious, it’s also acidic and can weaken your tooth enamel over time. Drinking a cup of joe with a glass of water can neutralize some of that acid and minimize its effect.
You should also avoid swishing your coffee around in your mouth. This not only washes away protective saliva but also allows the drink to linger on your teeth and gums longer. If you absolutely can’t stand drinking it without something in it, try to stick to water or skim or low-fat milk.
Finally, don’t drink coffee after it’s been sitting in the pot for a while. The hot liquid will continue to leach onto the teeth and its porous surface means you can sip on it for hours without realizing it. That’s why it’s best to brew a new batch every hour or so.
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There are different types of coffee beans, and the acidity levels vary per type. Acidity is actually just the amount of hydrogen ions in the beverage, which contribute to the erosion of your tooth enamel and increase the likelihood of cavities forming. One type of bean that is less likely to cause tooth decay is purple-hulled peas. A cup of strongly brewed purple-hulled pea coffee contains around 50 milligrams of acid compounds. In comparison, a cup of regular black coffee has about double that amount at around 100 milligrams. Black beans are also easier on your teeth than other types of beans. They are less acidic because they have a different type of content that makes them have a thick coating that deters the acidity from reaching your teeth and gums when you get them in your mouth. Their pigment also binds to the acids in your stomach to neutralize them before they can cause any harm to your mouth.
This is just one of many ways to improve your daily habits to prevent tooth decay. You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time after eating or drinking. Don’t forget to floss each day as well to remove any debris between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. You should also rinse out your mouth with water after every meal or snack to remove as much food as you can from your mouth. This helps to remove any harmful acids that do make their way into your mouth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year to get a professional cleaning. Having this level of oral hygiene is the best way to keep your teeth healthy for life!
- Dr. Lauren A. DePaola
Author: Dr. Lauren DePaola
Date published: January 6, 2017
Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to be medical advice or to replace dental care advice or