Coffee and Your Teeth

coffee pouring into cup

Coffee contains ingredients called tannins, which are a type of polyphenol that breaks down in water. They are also found in beverages like wine or tea. Tannins cause color compounds to stick to your teeth. When these compounds stick, they can leave an unwanted yellow hue behind. It only takes one cup of coffee a day to cause stained teeth.

Don’t panic, sometimes your dentist is able to clean away any stains with your biannual checkup. A home remedy also would be to brush your teeth twice a month with baking soda. Switching to an electric toothbrush will also help by giving you more cleaning power than that of a manual toothbrush. Using whitening strips with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance can also help. 

Coffee can also cause bad breath, or halitosis, because it sticks to the tongue. To avoid these problems, eat food before you drink coffee, and use a tongue scraper and toothbrush after you finish drinking.

When drinking coffee, drink quickly instead of sipping over a long period. Enjoy, then rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize the acid. Eating certain foods might also help remedy stains. Raw fruits and vegetables — like strawberries and lemons— contain natural fibers that clean teeth by breaking down bacteria.

Coffee can have minor benefits for your nutrition, but there are also things to beware. Drinks that are high in dairy fat or sugar can add substantial calories, as well as contributing to the chance of tooth decay. Try making your own coffee at home, where you can control the ingredients used. Minimize your use of creamer and sugar, or try using non-fat or sugar-free substitutes.

Coffee can still be a healthy party of your life if you take some care to protect your teeth.

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