Coffee supplies large numbers of Americans with much needed caffeine and beneficial antioxidants as well as a much needed excuse to sit down and enjoy one another’s company. But the beverage is often demonized for its effect on teeth. The staff of Cottonwood Dental love their cup of morning brew… or afternoon brew… or evening brew… just as much as the next guy, and we’re here to give our patients the lowdown on coffee’s impact on your teeth.
The good news is that sometimes coffee- that is, black coffee, without added sugar, can help to prevent tooth decay! All this should be taken with a grain of salt (not literally!), but some research has shown that a cup of coffee can help to prevent the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth and hence, protect your teeth from cavities.
Yet, most people don’t seem to drink their coffee without sugar and/or sweetened dairy creamers. This habit not only adds extra sugar into your everyday diet, but also cancels out any anti-cavity effect that your average cup of coffee might have. If you’re drinking coffee daily, and multiple cups of coffee at that, lay off the added sugar and sweeteners, or make sure that you are regularly brushing your teeth throughout the day to prevent the buildup of plaque.
In addition, coffee can stain your pearly whites, damaging the strong enamel. The dark acids and pigments in coffee can get stuck in the tiny grooves of the enamel, leading to plaque and a yellowed color. Fortunately, Cottonwood Dental offers teeth whitening services that can revive your smile no matter how long you’ve been getting your energy boost from coffee.
Cottonwood Dental suggests that our patients simply be aware of how much coffee they’re consuming, and avoid adding sweetener. Visit Dr. Giacquinto twice a year for a deep cleaning, and brush regularly. Drink lots of water to help wash away plaque throughout the day, and maybe even sip your coffee from a straw. All of these measures will help to prevent cavities and tooth decay.