Most people enjoy a freshly brewed, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. The insatiable mixture of a deep, rich flavour and the caffeine fix tends to get you ready for the day – but it does have it’s downfalls too.
Yes, coffee is amazing, but it is acidic and contains tannins – so while you’re sipping, the acidity breaks down your tooth enamel and the tannins creep into crevices and stain your teeth. It’s even worse if you like it sweet, because harmful bacteria will feed on the added sugar and promote decay!
But fear not – with these quick, easy steps you can protect your teeth while enjoying your favourite pick-me-up:
- Drink up! Sipping on your cup through the morning may sound heavenly, but it gives the acid, sugars and tannins more time to destroy your teeth. It’s much better to enjoy a full cup here and there.
- Rinse and Repeat. If you drink a lot of coffee, make an effort to rinse your mouth after every half cup you drink. This dilutes the acidity in the mouth and washes away some of the tannins.
- Got Milk? The cream in milk will bind the tannins in your coffee so that they don’t stick to your teeth and stain – the creamier the better, so opt for full cream or at least low fat milk.
- Wait for it… an acidic cup of joe will make your tooth enamel more susceptible to damage, so try to wait at least an hour before you eat to prevent abrasions from harder, crunchy foods.
- Munch and Crunch! Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables, like carrots, celery and apples, after a good cuppa will give your teeth a brief, gentle polish and remove some of the tannins.
These habits will help you enjoy your favourite warm beverage, while significantly protecting your teeth and avoiding damage. There is no way to fully protect your teeth from some of the adverse effects of coffee though, so be sure to schedule regular appointments at our dental practice in Sea Point so we can keep an eye on your teeth and make sure they’re bright and healthy. If discoloration is affecting how you feel about your smile, give us a call. Professional teeth whitening can rescue your smile.