You may have always been told that coffee is bad for your teeth, but there are both pros and cons to the caffeinated drink of wonder!
Positive Effects of Coffee on your Teeth
Studies show that some varieties of coffee that are high in caffeine content are also high in polyphenols, which help break up plaque- causing bacteria. However, the polyphenols only help if you drink your coffee black. If you use sugar, cream, or artificial sweeteners, the work of the polyphenols is counterracted.
When roasted coffee beans were tested against Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, coffee beans turned out to be antibacterial against it. The roasted coffee prevented the bacteria from being absorbed into teeth. Coffee does not preventgrowth of the tooth decay bacteria, but decreases the amount of bacteria that sticks to the teeth.
Negative Effects of Coffee on your Teeth
Coffee is notorious for staining teeth. Small pits in your enamel enable stains from coffee to get locked into the surface of your teeth. Over time, the external stains can permeate the surface and dull the color of the teeth.
Coffee enables bacteria in your mouth to create acids that can lead tooth and enamel erosion, causing your them to become thin and brittle.
Coffee can cause bad breath, also known as halitosis, because it sticks to the tongue.
Avoid creamer and sugar, dentists say, as these speed up the growth of discoloring bacteria.
Tips for Stain-Free Teeth
Try to drink your coffee at specific times, rather than consistently sipping throughout the day. After finishing your coffee, rinse your mouth out or, ideally, brush your teeth to avoid acid erosion and to remove the potentially yellowing pigments from your teeth.
Use a whitening toothpaste and brush regularly in order to maintain whiter teeth at home.
Visit your dentist for regular cleanings to remove surface stains on your teeth.
Use a straw to reduce the amount of the drink that washes over your teeth and stains them.