That Sweet Morning Drink May Be Leading You to the Dentist
The beloved drink that many Americans start their day with may be affecting their teeth in a bad way. If you want to keep your teeth in good shape, you may want to think twice about sipping on coffee all day long. In addition to the fact that coffee stains teeth, you should know that it is likely helping your beautiful teeth to become bad teeth.
Coffee and Teeth
Although your teeth appear to be solid, they are actually neither smooth, nor solid. When seen under a microscope, teeth contain many ridges and pits, and food can easily be trapped on them. Food that contains various dyes and pigments in them can also get trapped on your teeth, and this will eventually cause discoloration.
When starting to drink a dark liquid like coffee, people may ask: Does coffee stain your teeth?
The answer is a definite yes. Acidic foods such as coffee are notorious for being able to stain your teeth over time. Coffee contains tannins, which is also contained in tea and some wines. The good news is that stained teeth from coffee is not permanent.
Another common problem is coffee plaque. If you have plaque on your teeth, it can also become stained from coffee. This can create brown edges between your teeth and on your gum line where the plaque accumulates.
Coffee and Health
Many studies recently are showing that coffee has a lot of health benefits, says the American Dental Association. It can reduce the likelihood of getting some serious diseases when taken in moderation. Although it can stain your teeth, the problem with drinking coffee is largely in the amount of sugar people consume with it.
Fancy coffees being sold at special coffee shops, such as Starbucks, contain an awful lot of sugar. According to CNN, some of their popular coffees contain as much as 25 teaspoons of sugar. When compared to a can of Coke, it is 2.5 times as much! Special coffees sold at other stores may not be much better.
Coffee Tooth Decay
Besides staining your teeth, sugar creates another big problem. The bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay feeds on sugar. When you leave a lot of sugar on your teeth, such as when you drink that coffee with loads of it and don’t brush your teeth afterward, you are causing the growth of harmful bacteria.
When multiplying, the bacteria produce an acid that will deteriorate your tooth enamel. Leaving the sugar on your teeth all day is bad for your teeth. This allows the bacteria to cause even more decay. When you sip coffee all day with sugar in it, the bacteria continues to grow and produce even more acid.
When you add the acid from the coffee to the acid being produced by the bacteria, it causes even more damage to your teeth. In addition to the stain from coffee’s dark color, the enamel on your teeth becomes thinner as the acids wear it away.
As it gets thinner, the underlying color of the dentin in your teeth – the underlying layer – begins to be seen. This causes your teeth to turn yellow.
Drinking coffee also causes dry mouth. This is an additional problem because your saliva helps to destroy the bacteria producing the acid. Without healthy amounts of saliva to keep the bacteria in check, the bacteria continue to multiply and produce more acid. Saliva also helps to heal your teeth, even repairing some of the damage.
Preventing Coffee Stain
Adding more cream to your coffee will lighten the color of it in your cup. It will not, however, prevent your teeth from becoming stained because the tannins are still in the coffee – there is just less of them. The only difference is that it might take longer to turn your teeth yellow.
When you add creamer to your coffee to make it lighter in color, you are also adding more sugar. The best way to reduce the stains from appearing from coffee is to cut down on coffee altogether, or at least reduce it to about two cups a day.
Options for Teeth Whitening
If you have coffee stained teeth, there are several ways to restore their white color at the dentist’s office. Three popular options include:
- Teeth Whitening
Although there are teeth whitening kits at the local store, these are not nearly as effective as your dentist can make them. Kits at the store are only able to whiten your teeth one or two shades lighter, and it will often take about two weeks or longer. The dentist can make them about six shades lighter in just one sitting!
Veneers are porcelain caps that fit on the front of your teeth. They provide a powerful advantage of being able to cover up many flaws, such as slightly misaligned teeth, chips, discolored teeth, and even gaps between your teeth. They are made in a lab and look natural.
Once your teeth are made white again, you need to be aware that drinks such as coffee will stain them again. One way to prevent this is to drink water to rinse the coffee out of your mouth right after drinking it – and the sugar and tannins with it. Brushing right after drinking coffee will also help.
If you have stained teeth from coffee, and live in the Farmers Branch TX area, Our Champion Dental expert dentist team can help you. We provide teeth whitening and a wide variety of dental services to help remove the coffee effects on teeth and restore your white smile and repair damage from enamel erosion. You can contact our office today at (214) 747-0763 for an appointment.