Coffee, it’s something most of us can’t live without. Who doesn’t love coffee, the oh so sweet aroma while brewing, that first sip that brings us so much joy. That “Cup of Joe” is something needed for most of us to even start our day, relying on it to simply function. Did you know about 64% of Americans drink a cup of coffee every day? Me being one of them. Something most of us don’t think about when we are enjoying that wonderful cup of coffee is what it is doing to our teeth. Did you know that not only does coffee stain, but it can also cause damage to our teeth? Now don’t worry I’m not going to tell you that you can’t drink coffee, just tips to help avoid these things.
Coffee we love it so much, even if it stains our teeth. Like red wine, coffee contains tannins. Tannins are chemical compounds that stick to teeth leaving them with a yellow hue. Luckily nowadays we are presented with different whitening options like bleach trays, whitening strips, in office whitening, and whitening toothpastes. Try drinking your coffee through a straw next time, YES it helps. Most of us have baking soda in our homes, it helps remove stains. Brush with equal parts baking soda and water, once or twice a week. If you are curious to try bleach trays or in office whitening, ask about it during your next dental appointment or give us a call.
Let’s talk about how coffee damages our teeth and the different ways we can avoid this from happening. Coffee, like many other beverages is very acidic, wearing down enamel and giving plaque an environment to thrive in. Try not to sip your coffee, rather drink it within a few minutes. When you sip your coffee, you’re prolonging the amount of time it takes for the pH level in your mouth to neutralize. Drink or swish water after you’ve had your coffee, this will help neutralize the mouth. Always wait about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, brushing too soon causes more damage to vulnerable enamel. Now I know you’re wondering about what you should do about “coffee breath” that occurs from drinking coffee. Try keeping gum or mints in handy containing xylitol. Xylitol helps bring back the pH in saliva and inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes cavities. Our office favorite is the Ice Cubes, by Ice Breakers.
With that being said, you can still maintain a white smile and healthy teeth while drinking your coffee. Remember everything in moderation is key, limit your coffee intake to one or two cups a day. Drink your coffee on the go? Try carrying a tooth brush and toothpaste with you. On that note I’m going to make myself a cup of coffee, it’s going to be a french press kind of day 😊