In North America alone, an estimated 80-90% of adults regularly consume caffeine. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the beverages that contain that caffeine can be extremely harmful for your teeth. The biggest offenders are coffee, tea, and soda. The acidic content wears down your enamel, and the sugar that is in soda and that is often added to coffee and tea can cause cavities. Your McKinney dentist will probably recommend that you cut these things out of your diet, but if you just can’t go a day without a morning cup of joe, here are some things you can do to reduce the damage.
Cut Out Add-Ins
If you put sugar in your coffee or tea, you’re just adding fuel to the teeth destroying fire. Gradually reduce the amount of sugar in your caffeinated beverages until you are able to drink them black. If you can’t handle black coffee, switching to tea may be easier.
Sugar-Free Gum and Water are Your Friends
A McKinney dentist will not recommend brushing your teeth immediately after consuming a caffeinated beverage. This is because the acid in these drinks softens your enamel, which can then be more easily worn away by your tooth brush. Instead, chew a piece of sugar-free gum or swish water around in your mouth after your morning coffee. This will help flush the drinks out of your mouth and help prevent staining and cavities.
Find an Alternative
A lot of caffeinated beverages are dark in color, which will cause staining on your teeth. Habitual coffee, cola, and black tea drinkers may notice their teeth yellowing at an alarming rate. If you need caffeine, but don’t want your teeth to be stained, switch to something lighter in color. Green tea contains caffeine, is much healthier for you than coffee or soda, and is light enough that it won’t stain.
Wean Yourself Off
This may be difficult, but if you really want to keep your smile healthy, you can slowly wean yourself off of caffeine. Drink one fewer cup a day, switch to a beverage with less caffeine, and then quit all together. The healthiest thing for your teeth is to drink water exclusively and reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.