Whether you have a cup of coffee to start every day, or you just have it once in a while, you may want to think twice before imbibing your next cup o’ Joe. While it may be tasty and give you that extra burst of energy you need to get your day started – or to push through that mid-day slump – coffee can have some serious consequences on your oral health and leave you with no choice but to make an appointment with your local fishkill dentist.
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, or you just enjoy a cup once in blue, here’s a look at what java can do to your mouth.
If something can stain your clothing, it can stain your teeth – and if you’ve ever spilled a cup of coffee on your shirt or pants, you know that it leaves a yellowish-brown stain behind.
Coffee is notorious for staining teeth. Why? – Because it contains tannins, a form of polyphenol, which breaks down in water and causes color compounds to stick to your teeth. Since tooth enamel is very porous, those tannins can leave a yellowish hue on your teeth.
Fortunately, surface stains can be reduced by having your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist. Teeth whitening treatments can also eliminate surface stains. For deeper stains, veneers can be applied to your teeth to restore the whiteness and brightness of your teeth.
Erosion of Enamel
Foods and beverages that have a high acidity level can reduce the strength of your tooth enamel, and unfortunately, coffee is very acidic. If you drink it regularly, this beverage can eventually erode the enamel.
Enamel is the hard shell that protects your teeth from decay. Because coffee erodes enamel, it can leave your teeth susceptible to decay.
To reduce enamel erosion caused by drinking coffee, sip it through a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth. Also, avoid swishing it around inside your mouth. After you finish a cup of coffee, rinse your mouth with some cool water; but, avoid brushing for about an hour after you finish your coffee because the enamel on your teeth will be more susceptible to damage from brushing.
Many people drink coffee because of the caffeine. Caffeine not only provides a burst in energy, but unfortunately, it also causes bad breath.
Caffeine dries the saliva in your mouth, and a lack of salvia leads to bacteria growth, which results in bad breath. To reduce coffee breath, chew a stick of sugar-free gum when you finish your cup of coffee, or pop a breath mint in your mouth. As mentioned, above, avoid brushing your teeth for around an hour after you finish your coffee, as your teeth will be more susceptible to damage from brushing right after you finish drinking coffee.
You definitely don’t have to stop drinking coffee to avoid these health problems. Practicing smart drinking habits and visiting your poughkeepsie dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis will ensure your mouth stays healthy – and will allow you to enjoy your morning – or afternoon or evening – cup of java without having to worry about the health of your teeth and mouth.