For many people, coffee is the best way to start the day. If you want to catch up with friends, you might meet up for coffee. Coffee is close to our hearts (and mouths).
Along with our coffee, many of us include a heaping amount of sugar. A nice pumpkin spice latte has plenty of sugar to satisfy any sweet tooth.
While coffee and sugar go hand-in-hand, they can hurt your oral health. If you know how coffee and sugar affect your teeth, you can prevent damage to your teeth.
Coffee: The Dark Delight
Let’s start with the star of morning routines everywhere—coffee. That rich, aromatic beverage can provide a much-needed pick-me-up. But, it also comes with a few dental issues.
The Stain Game
Coffee is notorious for staining teeth. Unfortunately, its dark color can lead to tooth stains over time. Coffee contains tannins, which stick to your teeth and attract staining pigments. Additionally, the dark color of coffee can seriously stain your teeth.
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you may want to avoid staining your teeth. To do this, you can use a straw to minimize direct contact with your teeth. Or, you can rinse your mouth with water after your cup of coffee. It can also help remove some of the staining pigments.
The Acidic Angle
Coffee can be acidic. Also, acidity can erode your tooth enamel. When enamel wears down, it exposes the sensitive dentin underneath. This also makes your teeth more susceptible to pain and sensitivity.
If you love your coffee but worry about the acidity, consider lower-acid coffee options. Another option is to simply enjoy it in moderation.
Sugar: The Sweet Saboteur
Many coffee beverages, like mochas and flavored lattes, are loaded with added sugars. Sugar significantly contributes to tooth decay.
This is because it feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce acids that can erode your enamel and also lead to cavities.
Sip Smartly with Sugar-Free Alternatives
To enjoy your coffee without harming your teeth, consider sugar-smart options.
Black Coffee: Opt for black coffee without sugar or syrups to minimize your sugar intake.
Stevia or Monk Fruit: If you like a touch of sweetness, use natural sugar alternatives, such as stevia or monk fruit.
Milk: Add a dash of milk or a dairy alternative for creaminess without the added sugars.
Limit Frequency: Try not to sip on sugary coffee drinks throughout the day. Each sip exposes your teeth to acid attacks.
A Balanced Approach
In the end, it’s all about balance. You don’t have to give up coffee or sugar entirely. But it’s essential to be mindful of how much you consume. Enjoy your coffee in moderation! To help, you can also practice good oral hygiene to counteract any potential negative effects.
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can help reduce the damaging effects of sugar. If tooth stains concern you, you can also talk to your dentist about teeth whitening options.