Perhaps, like me, you have a serious addiction to your morning cup of Joe. Maybe your “morning” cup actually extends to 4 or 5 cups throughout the day. If that’s the case, chances are at some point or another you’ve become concerned about the effects of all that coffee on your tooth enamel. Well, aside from the obvious solution that we must all cut down a bit on our coffee intake, here are a couple of suggestions for managing your teeth until you can kick the coffee habit. (Personally, I may never be able to….don’t know about you!)
First, an explanation of how coffee can potentially harm your teeth. Your morning cup of java has all the right ingredients for staining and discolouring teeth. It’s the tannins that are found in coffee (like those also found in red wine or tea) that actually cause the damage. Dr. Victoria Veystman, DDS explains the process: Tannins are a form of polyphenol that actually break down in water and these colour compounds then stick to your teeth causing that unsightly yellow hue that so many of us try to avoid. *1 It’s the outer layer of your teeth (the enamel) that become stained when the tiny fissures, cracks and ridges fill with the residue from your cup. Additionally, coffee can also create bacteria that can lead to an excess of acids. These acids build up over time and might also lead to further tooth erosion. That’s the bad news but what now, here’s what can you do about it at home.
Believe it or not, taking your coffee black might help just a tiny bit. Creamers, milk and sugar only add to the potential build up of bacteria that cause erosion so perhaps taking your coffee “straight up” is a good place to start. If that’s distasteful, the next best option (as we suggest in so many of our blogs) is to brush your teeth immediately after consuming your coffee. This will have the added benefit of preventing halitosis, a particularly good outcome if you are attending meetings with others all day! While brushing is not always feasible, taking a few sips of water and discreetly rinsing your mouth is a great place to start. Of course, other obvious solutions include regular visits with your Dentist or Hygienist. After all, we are always happy to see you here at Brinkley Dental! As well, we have explored the topic of teeth whitening in some of our other blogs and there are many options for you to choose from both over the counter and here at the office.
We hope this information helps those who have as serious a love of coffee as I do. Like so many things, coffee in moderation IS something you can enjoy. You just need to know how to manage the potential pitfalls appropriately. Feel free to schedule an appointment with the Brampton Brinkley Dental team to discuss coffee stains and ALL your dental needs. In the meantime, as always ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”