I drink a lot of coffee...Could it be hurting my smile?

At Piney Creek Family Dentistry, we know many of our patients enjoy a cup or two of coffee throughout the day. Many of you many not know that coffee is very tough on your teeth! Coffee contains tannic acid (the substance that makes it a dark color), which etches into the pits and grooves of your teeth. Over time, this will cause your pearly whites to stain and can damage your white smile.

Coffee is one of the most frequently consumed beverages, with 50 percent of the population enjoying at least 1 cup per day. There are many foods and drinks that can also stain your teeth including red wine, chocolate flavored beverages and soft drinks. Coffee is different than these other beverages since they typically are consumed hot or warm. Introducing extreme temperature changes allows the teeth to expand and contract allowing for further penetration of stain into the enamel and destruction of the teeth.

Another concern with coffee, is that caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it causes the body to lose fluid. When you consume caffeinated beverages it can slow down saliva production and cause xerostomia. With lack of moisture in the mouth, bad breath and tooth decay become more prevalent.

Helpful tips to take into consideration when you enjoy a cup of coffee:

  • Rinse with a glass of water after consuming to clear the teeth of the tannic acid as water helps neutralize the mouth. This will also help with replenishing your fluids after consuming caffeine. 
  • Chew gum after you have a cup of coffee, this will help with increasing saliva production. Gum with xylitol is the preferred type from the ADA (American Dental Association).
  • Enjoy your beverage through a straw. This helps reduce the contact with the upper and lower front teeth.

Dr Tiffany Fritz encourages you to visit our Centennial, CO office to discuss whitening options. We can help bleach your teeth with professional products. To learn more about whitening options, please give Piney Creek Family Dentistry a call to schedule an appointment!