When it comes to your typical cup o’ Joe, you’ve probably thought a lot about what you put in it and when you have it during your day. But have you also thought about how it could hurt your teeth?
Coffee might feel necessary to help you function, but it can also wreck havoc on your mouth over time. Luckily, knowing how — and when — to care for your teeth can make a difference.
Is coffee harmful to teeth?
While it might taste delicious and give you an energy boost, coffee can also create an acidic breeding ground for bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and enamel erosion with long-term consumption.
Moreover, coffee contains tannins, which are molecules that cause color compounds to stick to teeth and give off that off-white or yellow color. Even one cup of coffee can stain teeth, but over time it leads to more noticeable discoloration.
When’s the best time to brush your teeth when you’re drinking coffee?
While experts say that not drinking coffee at all would be ideal for tooth health, skipping that cup o’ Joe may not feel like an option for many people.
If you want to get that morning mug in but don’t want to see as many adverse effects on your teeth, experts recommend brushing your teeth before you drink. It may seem counterintuitive, but it cleans your teeth and also acts as a barrier to protect your enamel beforehand. Think of it as a preventative measure.
Meanwhile, giving your teeth a brush after drinking coffee could actually further weaken your enamel and also cause those stains to stay put for even longer. If you want something to do after your cup of coffee, just swish water around in your mouth before rinsing in the sink. Otherwise, your saliva, which is pH-neutral, will take care of those coffee chemicals within a half hour.
Making sure you get a good brush in before every cup of coffee may seem like a lot, but that beats having teeth issues down the line!