It’s no secret that having a cup of coffee in the morning is the ideal way for many people to kick off their day. In fact, the average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day with the average size of a cup at 9 ounces, according to the National Coffee Association. With this massive consumption of coffee, comes several health problems. Consuming too much caffeine has been linked to problems like increased heartbeat, anxiety, heart palpitations, dehydration, insomnia, and much more. While most of these side-effects are well known, many people forget what kind of impact drinking an excess of coffee can do to your teeth. This caffeine-filled drink is notorious for it’s staining effects to your teeth. Although it doesn’t typically cause serious oral health problems like tooth loss, where you would need dental implants to restore your missing teeth, it can still affect the overall aesthetics of your smile. Since we recognize the importance of the health of your smile along with the aesthetics, we wanted to bring a special treat for our coffee-loving patients here in Havre de Grace, MD. To explain more on this subject, Dr. Richard Grubb explores how coffee stains teeth and tips to keeping a white smile when you drink coffee.
Before we go into ways to prevent a coffee smile, let’s take a look at how coffee can stain your pearly whites to begin with. Coffee stains boil down to the pigment of coffee and the surface of your tooth enamel. The tooth enamel is the outer layer of your tooth that protects the inner layers containing the blood vessels and nerves. It’s the hardest substance in the human body and is essential for avoiding tooth decay and tooth chipping.
There are many important functions of the enamel but as far as aesthetics go, it’s important for a bright, white smile. Although we mentioned how tough the enamel is, it’s not a smooth surface protecting your teeth. Your enamel actually has microscopic pits where dark pigments from foods and beverages can get stuck. After a period of time, the pigments can lead to permanent staining of your teeth. This outside staining of your teeth is known as extrinsic staining.
So, what’s the solution for the staining effects of coffee? Most people would think that adding milk to lighten the color of the coffee could be an effective solution. However, the pigments are still present in black coffee or coffee with cream, causing the same staining to your teeth.
We know that for many of our readers, eliminating coffee altogether is an unrealistic solution to avoid teeth staining. With this in mind, here’s a round-up of other great ways to keep your pearly whites bright while still enjoying your daily cup of coffee:
Don’t Sip All Day: Need a kick of caffeine to get your day going? Limit that little kick to a specific time of day. Drinking your coffee over a long period of time leaves your teeth vulnerable to the staining effects of coffee.
Drink Water: After you drink a cup of coffee, try drinking a glass of water. This will help you in multiple ways. The water can help negate the dehydrating effects of coffee while helping to rinse away the dark pigments that cause stains to your teeth.
Use Whitening Products: Keeping up a regular oral hygiene routine is a great way to remove the dark particles that attach to your enamel. Brushing along with using a whitening toothpaste can help keep your smile aesthetically pleasing.
Consider Visiting the Dentist: If you’re really concerned about staining to your teeth, visit your dentist for suggestions. There are a variety of cosmetic dentistry options like in-office teeth whitening.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your cup of coffee without sacrificing the look of your smile. If you’re currently dealing with more significant oral health problems like tooth loss, we offer high-quality dental implants to restore your missing teeth. Dental implants can give you a long-lasting smile that uses custom-crafted teeth that blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile. To begin your dental implant process, contact our office to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Grubb.
Richard V. Grubb
203 S. Washington St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Monday: 8AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 4PM
Thursday: 8AM – 4PM
Saturday: 8AM – 1PM (once a month)