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Is Coffee Really Bad For Your Teeth?


January 20, 2022

We all collectively hate recipe sites that tell long stories to answer a simple question, so let’s jump to the answer now for those of you looking for an immediate answer. If you’re looking for more info, keep reading.

Is coffee actually bad for your teeth?

Yes, kind of. I mean it can stain your teeth and cause a lot of insecurities with your smile. Do we avoid it ourselves? No way. Sweet, sweet, nectar of the gods.

Why is coffee bad for your teeth?

Quick and nerdy: Coffee has an ingredient called tannins. Tannins cause color compounds to stick to your teeth. When this happens, it leaves that yellow tint on your teeth. It really only takes one cup of coffee a day to stain your teeth.

Is iced coffee just as bad for your teeth?

Technically, yes. Because of the tannins. However, some iced coffee drinkers avoid some of the risk of staining their teeth by drinking iced coffee through a straw. Drinking through a straw helps avoid contact with your teeth, and sends the coffee straight down that gullet. 

Can I get rid of coffee stains?

Almost certainly! Often times, we can get rid of those stains during your biannual cleaning (shameless plug, go book that now!).

Along with your biannual cleanings, you can also ask Dr. Tanya or one of our hygienists about teeth whitening options. We have some take-home kits from Opalescence that you can pick up from our office. These offer an affordable and easy way to start battling teeth stains in the comfort of your own pajamas while streaming Euphoria.

Other issues caused by coffee?

This is the part where you say “eh, whatever, still worth it”. But, coffee can also create bacteria in your mouth which can lead to tooth an enamel erosion…causing your teeth to become thin and brittle. But that’s not just coffee…really any drink that isn’t water can cause the same issues.

So there you have it. Quick and easy. Is coffee bad for your teeth? Sure, kind of. Is it SO bad that you shouldn’t drink it? Ask Dr. Tanya if SHE drinks coffee herself, and you’ll have your answer. Of all the things you can do to help brighten your smile, giving up coffee doesn’t have to be the habit you quit. In fact, you can pick up new habits like brushing twice a day or brushing your teeth 30 minutes after drinking coffee (rinse your mouth with water first). All of these issues and insecurities are preventable without sacrificing your desire and addiction to Starbucks!

Cherry Hill Dentistry, located in Lincoln, NE, provides exceptional general dental and specialty services for our community.

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