Coffee is life. Well, perhaps it isn’t “life,” but it is an important drink for many people. It can be the difference between a good morning and a sour afternoon. Coffee can be a warm, welcoming drink or a cool pick-me-up. Regardless of how you consume it, coffee is a major part of many people’s routines.
Unfortunately, drinking coffee can come with some unwelcome side effects. Many people know that coffee can stain your teeth. But, can it do more harm? How does it stain your teeth, and how can you treat it?
How Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth?
When it comes to keeping your teeth white, you should keep one rule in mind. If it stains your clothes, it can stain your teeth. Coffee is no exception. It is not just the fact that coffee is a dark color. In coffee, a group of compounds known as tannins binds to your teeth. While you can rinse and brush off most of these tannins with water or by brushing your teeth, they can still leave stains.
Additionally, coffee is acidic, so over time, it eats away at your enamel. Enamel is the white outer coating of your teeth. This is the part of your teeth that is white. Once the enamel wears away, you cannot replace it. Also, your teeth become susceptible to cavities and other dental issues. The acid in coffee erodes the enamel, which makes it easier for the tannins to bind to your teeth. Also, the dark color can seep further into your teeth, making it difficult to remove stains with brushing alone.
What Else Does It Do?
If you take sugar with your coffee or drink syrupy sweet frappuccinos, you may harm your teeth more. However, coffee is not totally to blame for this issue. The precious addition of sugar can cause more issues for your teeth.
Bacteria naturally live in your mouth. They grow and thrive on the foods you eat. In fact, all foods promote bacterial growth. However, brushing your teeth, drinking water, and saliva all neutralize this bacteria. Unfortunately, sugar can create more bacteria than your saliva can neutralize. When bacteria consume sugar, it creates an acid that further breaks down your enamel.
Over time, your teeth will become weak and likely to form cavities. A proper dental routine is key in minimizing the effects of coffee and sugar.
How To Combat Coffee’s Effects
Cutting out coffee may not be an ideal solution to avoiding its effects. However, you may consider minimizing your daily intake. If that is not an option, there are other things you can do.
Using a straw can reduce the amount of coffee that actually touches your teeth. This can help minimize surface stains. Also, you can rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee. Rinsing can quickly neutralize the acid in your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth as recommended is vital to keep your teeth clean and reduce surface stains. If your teeth are already stained, you can try whitening treatments at home or in your dentist’s office.