More than half of all Americans drink coffee every day. A cup can give you a caffeine boost to get you through the day, or you could appreciate a break with a warm beverage. Coffee habits tend to deteriorate oral health for many reasons, but if you are careful, you can keep your teeth healthy without completely avoiding your favorite drink. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht, a dentist in Indianapolis, IN, offers advice to coffee drinkers who want to maintain good oral health.
Beware of staining
Dark-colored beverages, such as coffee or tea, contain tannins that tend to absorb into tooth enamel. Over time, they can stain, yellow, or discolor the tooth enamel to dull the appearance of your smile. Drinking less coffee can lower the risk of this occurring. You can also add milk or choose a lighter brew to decrease this likelihood. Proper oral hygiene can also keep your enamel strong to better fight staining effects. If your teeth are discolored, you can find professional teeth whitening services or other cosmetic treatments at your dentist’s office.
Skip the sugar
Coffee is a bitter beverage, so many drinkers add sugar or syrup to their coffee to make it sweeter and more palatable. This can be detrimental to your teeth. Sugar interacts with bacteria in your mouth to raise acidity and eat away tooth enamel. This causes tooth decay which can lead to cavities and damage teeth from the surface to the root if left untreated. Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming coffee can make this problem worse because the enamel is vulnerable due to the heightened acidity and the act of brushing can weaken it further. Avoiding sugar can protect your teeth from this damage.
High levels of caffeine in coffee can dehydrate those who drink this beverage. Severe dehydration can lead to medical issues throughout your body, but even mild levels can be detrimental to your health. Low hydration levels can dry out your mouth, allowing bacteria more freedom to eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay. Dry mouth also raises your risk of oral infections, including gum disease. Drinking water with your coffee will keep you hydrated and healthy.
Schedule a dentist appointment in Indianapolis, IN
North Meridian Dental Excellence specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. Dr. Ahlbrecht is an expert dentist practicing in Indianapolis, IN. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 317.204.7134.