May 10, 2015
Do you have trouble getting going in the morning? Wouldn’t a jolt of caffeine be nice?
Is the two o’clock slump dragging you down? How about a boost from a nice hot cup of java?
A cup of coffee can be just the thing to keep you up and alert throughout a long, taxing day. Or maybe you just like coffee.
But isn’t coffee bad for my teeth?
That can be true. Regular coffee consumption can definitely take its toll on your smile. But it doesn’t have to. Here at Thomas J. Feder, DDS, PC, we want you to have a healthy and bright smile, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee outright. In fact, recent studies have shown that roasted coffee beans may even help fight the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
The fact remains that coffee can stain your teeth, but with a healthy dental care routine and regular visits to our office in Belleville, you can protect your smile!
Why does coffee stain?
The enamel of your teeth is the hard shell that protects the soft pulp inside. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, your enamel is covered with microscopic pits that collect particles from the food and liquids you put in your mouth.
Coffee contains a dark pigment that gets trapped in those pits, and when enough coffee pigment is caught on the enamel it yellows the teeth. Essentially, this is a cosmetic issue, as the pigment affects the color of the enamel, but not its strength or integrity.
Take your coffee black, no sugar.
The cavity fighting power of coffee is only effective if you drink it with no additives. Adding cream to your coffee to reduce its staining power does not work. The pigments are still there, only now they are mixed with diary. Sweeteners, like sugar and flavored syrups, are bad for your teeth, and can cause tooth decay. So coffees that is loaded up with cream and flavoring, like a mocha or vanilla latte, should be treated as a special treat, just like fruit juice and sweet sodas.
Don’t drink coffee throughout the day.
One trick to reduce the negative effects coffee has on your smile is to drink it in a concentrated and isolated time period, like lunch or a break. People who sip on coffee in small quantities throughout the day are more likely to stain their teeth.
Drink plenty of water.
And be sure to chase your cup of joe with a large glass of water. Drinking water will wash away the acid in coffee that can cause tooth sensitivity, as well as the pigments that stain enamel. Drinking water will also keep you hydrated, which will allow you to produce plenty of saliva, which has its own bacteria fighting properties to help protect your teeth from decay.
The health benefits of water cannot be overstated, so make sure to drink lots of it throughout the day. Many people choose to carry a water bottle with them at all times, so that they always have access to clean water and never have to go thirsty.
Brush your teeth.
Of course, brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for healthy oral hygiene, but it is especially important to do so after drinking a liquid containing dark pigments, like coffee. Don’t let those coffee particles settle in the pits of your enamel. Brush them away. Brushing after drinking coffee will also freshen your breath and keep you from developing coffee induced halitosis.
Have regular professional cleanings.
Although a healthy oral hygiene routine will do a lot to keep your smile bright. You still need to be sure to schedule professional cleanings twice a year. At the office of Thomas J. Feder, DDS, PC, we will use the latest in dental technology to not only clean away plaque and tartar, but to also examine your teeth for any signs of decay, or other dental care issues.
It simply comes down to experience and technology. We have both. So regular cleanings and examinations at our office will help ensure that you have a healthy smile, even while enjoying coffee.
We can help.
If your teeth have already darkened a couple shades from drinking coffee, it is not too late to save your smile. At our office in Belleville, IL, we offer a teeth whitening solution to your coffee stain problem. When you see us for teeth whitening, we will make an impression of your teeth so that the whitening trays can be costume fitted specifically to your teeth and applied with just the right amount of professional strength whitening gel. This take-home procedure is gentler on your teeth than an intense in-office treatment, yet it is just as effective.
With moderation and a healthy dental care routine, you can can enjoy the benefits of drinking coffee with damaging your smile. Let Thomas J. Feder, DDS, PC help you. Contact us today to make an appointment!