Your alarm goes off for the fourth time, signaling that it really is time to get out of bed and start the day. You groggily make your way to the coffee shop on your way to work. Once you’ve had that first sip, you feel yourself wake up. When you get to work, you see you have a day full of meetings, so you grab some more coffee to get you through. In the afternoon, you need another boost to stay awake, which means another cup of coffee. Does this sound familiar?
It’s estimated that about 54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day. In some ways, coffee can be beneficial, but are you thinking about how this daily beverage could be affecting your oral health? Read on to learn more!
Coffee’s Impact on Your Smile
Not many people enjoy their coffee without sugar or cream, but some research indicates that black coffee may actually help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. However, if you add in cream or sugar, coffee can encourage bacterial growth, possibly leading to more cavities. Given that coffee is usually consumed for a prolonged period of time, this risk can be even higher.
Whether or not you add in extras to your coffee, this potent beverage can come with some strong smelling breath. If you don’t drink black coffee, the added bacteria can exacerbate bad breath.
In addition to potentially harming your oral health, coffee is darkly pigmented, even with added cream or sugar. As a result, drinking too much of it can make your teeth appear more yellow or dull brown than those who don’t consume coffee.
How to Treat Coffee Stains
Once stains have set in your teeth, they can be difficult to remove on your own. Sure, there are over-the-counter whitening treatments that promise dramatic results, but at most you can expect to whiten your teeth by a few shades. During a professional dental cleaning, your hygienist utilizes a specialized tool that polishes the surfaces of your teeth, removing discoloration.
In some cases, even a professional cleaning isn’t enough to achieve the desired brightness. That’s where professional whitening treatments come in. Your dentist may offer in-office or at-home whitening, or both, for powerful, deep-stain removal.
How to Prevent Coffee Stains
If you simply can’t start your morning without a cup of coffee, feel free to have one. Soon afterward, consider taking sips of water to rinse the remaining coffee in your mouth, and limit your coffee consumption throughout the day. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist at least twice every year for cleanings and checkups.
Your favorite drink doesn’t have to mess with your confidence or your oral health. By making smart decisions, you can enjoy your cup of joe while keeping your smile bright and strong for many years to come.
About the Practice
Williamsburg Dental serves six areas in and around Lincoln, NE. Staffed with eight talented, compassionate dentists, we are proud to bring high-quality dental care to every patient. In addition to routine preventive cleanings, we also offer professional whitening—both in-office Opalescence Boost whitening and at-home treatments. If you would like to learn how you can maintain a beautifully white smile, you can contact Williamsburg Dental by clicking here.