Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States, with approximately half of all American adults enjoying this drink. Whether cozying with a warm mug or grabbing an iced drink on the run, coffee is a staple in the routine of many individuals.
However, coffee is known to be detrimental to the health and appearance of your teeth. Dr. Emily Ann Reece, a dentist in Cary, NC, describes how you can drink coffee while remaining vigilant about your dental health.
Beware of Teeth Stains
Dark-colored beverages like coffee contain tannins that can absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains on your teeth. These stains cannot be removed with teeth brushing or flossing.
Adding milk to your beverage or choosing a lighter-colored brew can lower the risk of tooth discoloration when drinking coffee. However, the risk is not eliminated, and many dentists recommend enjoying coffee in moderation. If you notice yellowing, staining, or discoloration in your teeth, you can ask your doctor about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Avoid Added Sugar
Coffee is a naturally bitter beverage, so many people add sugar to their drink to enhance the taste. Sugar is notoriously bad for your teeth because it reacts to bacteria in your mouth to become acidic.
This acid eats away at tooth enamel, leaving dental patients with tooth decay and potentially excruciating symptoms like tooth sensitivity. Once enamel deteriorates, it does not regrow on its own.
Dentists can treat thinned or weakened enamel with restorative dental work like dental crowns. To prevent this problem, dentists suggest avoiding sugar where possible.
Many individuals appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes with a cup of coffee. However, caffeine is known to dehydrate you. Low levels of hydration can lead to problems throughout your body, including your oral health.
Dehydration causes dry mouth, which allows bacteria to spread more easily through your mouth, increasing your risk of infections. This also heightens the chance of contracting gum disease, which if left untreated can lead to tooth loss. For this reason, you should drink water along with coffee.
Learn More from Your Dentist in Cary, NC
Reedy Creek Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments to patients in Cary, NC. Dr. Reece also specializes in restorative and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation or appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 919.346.0846.