Do you love the sweet aroma and taste of a freshly brewed coffee?
I know You do!
Did you know that 100 million people in the US drink coffee every day? 68% of them drink a cup of coffee within one hour of waking up. That’s a lot of coffee. But do you have any idea that your cup of coffee may be having an adverse effect on your dental health?
Coffee: Black as Night, Sweet as Sin
For many people, it’s the perfect way to start the day off by staying alert on their morning commute. However, the coffee you crave for, the very first in the morning may also be wreaking havoc on your teeth.
Coffee Lovers Take Note:
Your morning routine might affect your dental health. If it can stain your clothes, it can stain your teeth as well. This rule of thumb, unfortunately, is true about coffee. Coffee is a notorious teeth stainer. According to most dental professionals, drinking coffee is likely to stain the teeth. Consuming drinks and foods in large quantity that contain caffeine can cause the discoloration of the teeth. This is one of the reasons why dentists often advise their patients to cut down caffeine intake to avoid stained teeth.
In reality, teeth discoloration caused by drinking coffee seems to be even more persistent as compared to discoloration due to tobacco use. In point of fact, according to one research that compared the two kinds of discoloration, teeth that are discolored from frequent coffee consumption were more resistant to tooth brushing and are actually more likely to become stained again following a teeth whitening procedure. Aside from being unattractive, teeth that come with heavy coffee stains appear more prone to bacteria, attract food debris, and what’s worse is that they also tend to be sticky.
So, how beneficial or risk-free is drinking coffee then?
It is essential to note that for many of us, coffee can be regarded as a healthy component of our daily diet. Likewise, there is no reason for us not to delight in every sip of this energizing drink unless of course, if you can no longer control your consumption.
But, please bear in mind that coffee may not be beneficial for everyone. Taking into account people who are suffering from caffeine sensitivity, severe heart problems, as well as pregnant women, it would be wise to opt for tea or decaf instead.
Good News for Coffee Lovers….
You can still drink coffee and maintain a white, healthy smile. To enjoy coffee and avoid oral damage, drink in moderation. Dentists suggest no more than two cups a day, plus regular brushing and visits to your local dentist.
Getting Rid of Stains…
If you’re a coffee lover, there’s no need to panic. Your dentist will usually get rid of coffee stains during your bi-annual cleaning. You can also supplement professional cleaning with these home remedies:
- Brushing your teeth with baking soda twice a month further whitens teeth.
- Raw fruits and vegetables, like strawberries and lemons, also contain natural fibers that can help clean your teeth by breaking down bacteria.
How Can One Prevent “Coffee Smile“?
Giving up coffee is the best way to prevent the staining caused, but for most people, this is not an acceptable solution. Most people cannot do without their morning cup of coffee and very often sip some throughout the day to relieve stress and to remain alert. Instead of abstaining, remember to rinse your mouth and brush when possible after each cup to reduce the possibility of staining.
Preventive Measures to Maintain Dental Health
- Sip of Coffee, Sip of Water
Rather than sipping constantly throughout the day, try to consume your coffee at specific break times. After finishing your coffee, you can then rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth to remove the potentially yellowing pigments from your teeth.
A mouthful-sized swish of water after you’re done drinking coffee will do the trick. But if you’re anything like me and are constantly refilling your coffee cup, keeping a glass of water handy isn’t a bad idea. A simple sip of water after a sip of coffee will help wash away most of what’s there.
- Floss Everyday
The primary cause for stain on the edges of teeth is because people don’t floss and plaque/calculus builds up interproximally (in between) teeth. This very porous material holds stain infinitely better than a tooth does.
- Avoid Teeth Whitening Strips
Thirty minutes after drinking coffee, chemical agents in teeth whitening strips will make your teeth more porous and will absorb more coffee, creating stains.
- Keep a Can of Soda or Energy Drink Next to You
Keep sipping the drink slowly, swallow swiftly as this prevents foods that stain from lingering in the mouth for too long.
- Get Your Teeth Cleaned Every Six Months, Professionally
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to know why. It’s the plaque that gets stained by coffee, not the teeth themselves. Coffee staining means you have plaque, which the dentist can remove with a professional teeth cleaning.
In addition, visiting your dentist’s office for regular dental health checkup can remove many of the surface stains on your teeth, giving you a whiter, brighter smile, no matter how many cups of coffee you need to make it through the day.
There isn’t a magical way to instantly reverse any discoloration that has already happened. Applying these tips every day will help prevent further discoloration, keep your dental health in check, and over the course of time, improve and whiten your smile!