Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth

  • By: Rob
  • Date: November 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Coffee is a very much loved beverage across the world. For some, they cannot survive a day without it. While there are others who simply drink it for its aroma and taste. However, have you ever asked yourself this question; “is coffee bad for your teeth?”

Coffee can be bad for your teeth since it is acidic. The acids from black coffee may cause your teeth’ enamel to weaken, allowing bacteria to grow in your mouth. Even if the coffee you drink is not so acidic, it can still cause stains on your teeth that are difficult to remove.

Coffee indeed has a long list of benefits but knowing how it will affect your teeth is equally important. In this case, you will find this article very helpful. Here, all your questions about how coffee affects teeth will be answered.

How Bad is Coffee For Your Teeth

How Bad is Coffee For Your Teeth. yellow teeth

Many people enjoy regular cups of coffee, and some even question; is coffee bad for your teeth – well let’s take a look, but, I’m sorry to say, it isn’t looking good!

Coffee can be really bad for your teeth if you consume excessive amounts without doing anything to protect your teeth against it. There are two main reasons for this:

Coffee Effect on Teeth Enamel

A lot of people think that coffee contributes to tooth decay. However, it is not a direct cause of cavity formation. It does help create an environment that allows cavities to grow and thrive.

The main reason why coffee is bad for the teeth is that it can cause enamel erosion. The outer layer of your teeth is called the enamel. Its main function is to protect teeth and keep it healthy.

When the enamel breaks down, your teeth become sensitive and susceptible to diseases and trauma. This is something that can happen when you drink coffee on a regular basis.

If you are an avid coffee drinker, you might have noticed increased sensitivity in your teeth. In this case, many dentists suggest that you use enamel-strengthening toothpaste (Amazon link) that will provide your enamel with more resistance to corrosion even if you continue your coffee drinking routine.

I recently wrote an article, Can I drink coffee after tooth extraction. One to check out if it applies to you.

Effects of Sugar on Teeth

Another reason why coffee is bad for your teeth is that instant coffee contains high amounts of sugar.

According to research, coffee extracts with additives such as artificial sweetener, cream, or sugar makes the polyphenols lose their bacteria-killing properties.

If you want to protect your teeth against damages caused by coffee, it is highly recommended that you cut back on milk and sugar. Ideally, you should opt for black coffee and limit your intake to only 1 to 2 cups a day.

How to Clean Coffee Stains from Your Teeth

Professional care is the best way to get coffee stains off your teeth. However, suppose you don’t have the budget or time to do so. In that case, you can try using teeth whitening kits or other home remedies such as using a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Coffee can stain your teeth and make your teeth look yellowish, which is not really appealing. The best way to remove it safely is to get professional care. Professionals will do a whitening treatment using bleach to improve the shade of your teeth.

You will notice immediate results after just one treatment. The dentist will also prescribe you whitening toothpaste to prevent further stains in the future.

Suppose getting professional care is not an option for you, then these alternatives might help:

  • DIY Teeth-whitening Kit

There are DIY teeth whitening kits (Amazon link) that can help reduce coffee stains. Most of these kits use hydrogen peroxide as their whitening agent.

The teeth whitening kits can either be liquid packs or strips. However, since these contain potent chemicals, make sure to read the instructions and follow them accordingly carefully.

If you feel any sensitivity or stinging sensation when using these kits, it is best to stop using it. You might be having an adverse reaction.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda Mixture

This is one of the most affordable ways of removing coffee stains since it is available in most pantries at home.

For this, you just have to combine baking soda and a few drops of hydrogen peroxide until you achieve a paste-like consistency. Apply the paste to your teeth and let it sit there for 15 to 20 minutes.

However, this method requires patience because it might take 2 to 3 weeks before you see noticeable results. It is also not suggested to do this every day because it might cause your enamel to weaken.

Is Iced Coffee Bad for Your Teeth

The cold temperature of the coffee is not necessarily bad for your teeth unless you have temperature sensitivities. However, it still causes your enamel to weaken and for your teeth to stain.

If you want to minimize the risks of your teeth staining due to your iced coffee, then the following tips might help:

  • Use a Straw

Using a straw will prevent coffee from getting into contact with your teeth. This will also help reduce the chances of teeth stains.

  • Go for Decaf

Decaf coffee contains fewer tannins, which gives your teeth that yellow hue after consuming coffee. You may wonder, does decaf coffee taste the same – I went into detail in that post.

  • Drink Water

Water can help remove the tannins deposit left by the iced coffee. This lessens the chances of your teeth being stained.

  • Avoid Adding Sugar

Sure, more sugar or cream on iced coffee will make it tastier. However, it will also increase its ability to stain your teeth.

Is Instant Coffee Bad for Your Teeth

Instant coffee is not bad for your health as long as you drink just the right amount of it. It will also not cause damage if you have good oral hygiene.

However, instant coffee can be bad for your teeth if it contains a large amount of sugar. Sugar encourages the growth of plaque bacteria which creates acids that weaken your enamel. As a result, your teeth will decay after some time.

If you want an instant coffee that will not damage your teeth, it is best to pick those with lesser sugar content.

Is Coffee Without Sugar Bad for Your Teeth

No, coffee without sugar is not necessarily bad for your teeth. In fact, it is the other way around.

Sugar-free coffee is more recommended than coffee with sugar additives because these can harm the tooth enamel and create a breeding ground for bacteria.

In a sense, the only reason why sugar-free coffee is harmful to your teeth is because of the acids in the coffee.

However, with proper oral hygiene and limited coffee consumption, the negative side effects on your teeth can be minimized. Here are some tips on how to reduce coffee damage to your teeth:

  • Brush Your Teeth Regularly

Brushing your teeth regularly will take away the tannins and nasty bacteria left on your teeth after drinking coffee. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. It is also a good practice to drink water or gargle after drinking coffee.

A common question is; should you brush your teeth before or after coffee in the morning, which do you think is correct?

  • Choose the Right Toothpaste

There are plenty of kinds of toothpaste in the market. But, if you are an avid coffee drinker, it is highly suggested to opt for a toothpaste with intense enamel protection.

  • Visit the Dentist Regularly

It is highly suggested that you visit a dentist every 6 months even if you don’t feel any pain or aches. You can just get a deep cleaning and take proactive measures for your teeth protection.

  • Control Your Coffee Intake

You should limit your coffee intake to 1 or 2 cups a day.

Final Words

So, Is coffee bad for your teeth? Coffee can be bad for your teeth. However, knowing how it affects your teeth can help you fight against its adverse side effects. This way, it is still possible to enjoy coffee without worrying about your teeth. 

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