Ask Your General Dentist: “Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth?”

coffee 1Many coffee lovers ask how their favorite beverage may be affecting their teeth. If you conduct a web search, you will find conflicting answers, the majority of which contain at least a grain of truth. The fact of the matter is that coffee contains some elements that are good for teeth and some that are not so good. Thankfully, your Polk City IA general dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, is here to reveal what your teeth will find at the bottom of your favorite coffee mug.

How Coffee Affects Teeth

One of the biggest concerns that patients voice about their coffee consumption habits is that the dark beverage will stain their teeth. These concerns are not without warrant. Coffee contains a dark pigment that is capable of staining teeth. Whether or not coffee will cause noticeable staining, however, depends upon your oral hygiene and how much coffee you drink. The occasional cup of coffee is not likely to produce significant staining. Multiple cups every day, on the other hand, may be instrumental in discoloring teeth. However, by brushing thoroughly and taking care to rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee, you may be able to prevent some staining.

However, coffee can influence your teeth beyond their appearance. As an acidic beverage, coffee can prove harmful to teeth by contributing to enamel loss. Continual exposure to acid can weaken enamel, resulting in its loss. Therefore, in order to protect your enamel, cut back on your coffee consumption if you are drinking numerous cups each day. Also be sure that you wait to brush your teeth after drinking your favorite brew. Waiting gives the enamel time to harden after being softened by exposure to acid and if you do not wait, the abrasion from brushing may strip some enamel from your teeth. Thus, rinsing immediately after drinking coffee is a better idea than brushing.

So far, coffee appears to have a negative influence on teeth. However, this is not entirely the case. Research has shown that coffee actually fights against certain harmful oral bacteria. Thus, a cup of coffee may contribute to, rather than damage, your oral health. They key, then, like with most things, is moderation.

About Cornerstone Dental: At Cornerstone Dental, Dr. Ryan Hussong has made it a priority to ensure his patients’ comfort. He enjoys working with patients of all ages and forming relationships with families in the Polk City area. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling (515) 984-6001.