Coffee Makes Everything Better…or Does it?

teeth whiteningWe love coffee quotes as much as the next person. Coffee really can seem like it makes everything better! According to recent research, this isn’t far off base, either, at least at it pertains to general health. A healthy coffee habit is now thought to have a positive effect on everything from Parkinson’s Disease to diabetes to the heart and liver. Well done, Java. Well done! But what about your teeth? While you’re doing your body good with all the goodness in your cup, what may happen to your smile?

There certainly aren’t many people out there who would deny that coffee is one of the main culprits of a dull, stained smile. This is related to the tannins in every steamy cup. Tannins are tiny molecules that are also found in red wine and tea, and your smile, if you’re not careful. Another aspect of coffee that could be harmful to teeth is the acidity of this beverage. If acid compounds sit on teeth hour after hour as you sip on a Cup o’ Joe, eventually teeth will wear down. The wearing of enamel can lead to discoloration as dentin becomes more visible.

What to do for your Smile – and your Morning Mood

Let’s face it, many of us head to the coffee pot even before we head to the toothbrush every morning! Who could really tell a coffee addict to give up this beloved beverage, even if it is good for the teeth? We aren’t going to do it. What we will do, though, is talk about some ways that you can mitigate the risks of your coffee obsession.

  1. Cut back. This is something that has been recommended time and time again. Let’s put a spin on it. Instead of drinking less coffee in a day, try this . . . Drink a cup. One cup. Finish it. Wait. What happens when you continually sip on coffee hour after hour is that acid and tannins just sit around the mouth. Giving yourself a break after each cup gives your teeth a chance to recover.
  2. While you’re at it, fill that break with water. It’s not that you have to drink a full, 8-ounce glass after every cup. Actually, what is really advantageous is to just swish some water around in your mouth. You can do this after each cup, or even during.
  3. Pass the cream, please. Cream may add some extra calories to your cup, yes. But the casein protein in cream (dairy only) can wrap those tannins up so they don’t sit on your teeth.

Dr. Marshall and the team in our Ardmore office want to help you have a great smile. Call (610) 649-0696 to schedule a cleaning, or to talk about teeth whitening.

Posted in: Teeth Whitening

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