As one of the most addictive and delicious drinks, coffee is notorious for staining teeth. A common question dentists ask their patients is, “Are you a regular coffee drinker?” This is due to the extremely noticeable stains seen by dentists.
A recent study conducted by The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil announced that some coffees high in caffeine are high in polyphenol which breaks up plaque-causing bacteria. This chemical is found in the coffee bean and higher concentrations are in more caffeine-rich coffees. Although coffee may help combat plaque, it will still significantly stain teeth if consumed regularly. Additionally, sugar, cream and other sweeteners will counter-act the benefits of the polyphenol.
Since coffee has acidic content, it wears away at the enamel in your teeth and can cause tooth decay. A common side effect of coffee is dry mouth which hinders the production of saliva. Saliva is necessary to wash away any nutrients that feed plaque.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay
Limit Your Coffee Consumption – For the regular coffee drinkers, limiting your intake may pose challenging. However, consider only drinking 1 cup per day to decrease your risk of stains and tooth decay.
Change How You Drink Your Coffee – Many coffee enthusiasts don’t realize that the way we drink coffee actually impacts us. By drinking coffee through a straw, you can limit the amount of time that the beverage is contact with your teeth. Rather than sipping on coffee for an hour or two, it’s best to drink it relatively quickly so you can avoid exposure of the drink to your teeth.
Brush/Rinse Immediately – You’re more likely to remove stains before they can affect your teeth only if you brush immediately after consumption.
Use Whitening Treatments – If you already notice stains on your teeth, it may be time to consider bleach treatments.