Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States. Whether you enjoy a warm mug in the morning or an iced drink on the go, coffee is a staple in many individuals’ routines. It may be surprising to learn that coffee is detrimental to oral health in many ways. Dr. Thomas Prendergast, a dentist near McHenry, IL, describes how you can drink coffee while remaining conscious of the well-being of your teeth.
Beware of staining
Dark-colored beverages like coffee contain tannins that can absorb into tooth enamel when you drink them. Once absorbed, they cannot be removed through brushing, and over time, they can stain, yellow, and discolor your teeth. Choosing a lighter colored brew or adding milk to your drink may lower the risk of tooth discoloration when drinking coffee. However, coffee should be avoided or enjoyed in moderation to significantly reduce your chances of staining your teeth. If you notice tooth discoloration in your smile, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatments.
Skip the sugar
Many coffee drinkers add sugar to their beverages to improve the taste. This can make the drink have a greater negative impact on your oral health. Sugar interacts with bacteria in your mouth to become acidic and eat away tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth directly after drinking coffee can worsen this effect because the acid has weakened enamel and the pressure of brushing can further thin your enamel. As enamel weakens, your teeth are at risk of tooth decay, which can present as cavities. If left untreated, you could require extensive dental work to restore your oral health. Drinking coffee without sugar can lessen potential damage to your teeth.
Coffee contains caffeine, which can dehydrate you. Severely low hydration levels can harm many systems in your body, but your oral health can be affected by even mild dehydration. You may notice your mouth is dry if you are dehydrated. This environment makes your mouth a greater risk for infection. Your gums may be more susceptible to inflammation. Untreated gum disease may lead to tooth loss. For these reasons, you should ensure you drink water along with coffee.
Find a dentist near McHenry, IL
Infinity Dental specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry services. Dr. Prendergast is a dentist treating patients near McHenry, IL. To schedule an appointment or consultation with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 847.447.6637.