Coffee and Teeth

Coffee and beans

​For some of us, coffee is life! According to the National Coffee Association, 64 percent of Americans start their day with at least one cup of coffee. But do you ever worry about the effect your favorite morning staple could be having on your teeth? Let’s break down the details on just how bad, or not bad, coffee is when it comes to your oral health.

Coffee Stains Teeth

While this may not be news to you, coffee does cause surface-level stains on the teeth. Thankfully this staining is just a cosmetic issue and can be removed with professional teeth-whitening treatments.

Coffee Erodes Enamel

Here is where the problems from drinking coffee begin to affect the teeth in more than just a cosmetic way. The acidity of coffee breaks down the outermost layer of the teeth: the enamel. This is especially problematic for those who drink coffee daily and like to sip it slowly throughout the morning. It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after drinking your coffee each morning to minimize the damage to enamel. You can also use enamel-strengthening toothpaste.

Caffeine Can Cause Clenching

Most people enjoy their coffee in the morning and then throughout the day slowly cut back on their caffeine so as not to mess with their sleep schedule. But for those who enjoy any caffeine, especially coffee, later in the day, studies have shown that it can lead to teeth clenching during sleep when you’re not even aware it’s happening. Clenching of the jaw can cause teeth to weaken and can lead to fractures in the teeth. It can also eventually lead to temporomandibular joint disorder symptoms.

So, you love coffee but now you’re a little worried after reading about the effects it can have on your teeth. Here are a few thing you can do to minimize the amount of damage your favorite morning beverage can do to your oral health:

  • Drink your coffee faster. Avoid slowly sipping it so you mouth can return to healthy pH levels faster and the acid attack that results from the process can end more quickly.
  • Drink out of a straw. If you love iced coffee, you’re in luck because drinking out of a straw eliminates some of the direct impact of coffee on teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water right after you finish your cup of coffee and brush teeth 20 minutes later. Don’t brush right away as enamel is soft and vulnerable right after drinking or eating acidic or sugary things.
  • Avoid coffee or anything with caffeine after lunch time.

For more information on removing coffee stains or treating enamel erosion caused by years of coffee drinking, call us today at 724-220-2347.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on December 9th, 2019