Is coffee bad for your teeth and gums? How does the acid in coffee break down your teeth? What are the differences between black coffee and café crème? Should I choose tea instead of coffee? And finally, how can you reduce coffee stains on your teeth and gums?
I. Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth and Gums?
It is frequently admitted that coffee is bad for the health of teeth. Given the number of cups of coffee consumed every day on the planet, it is important to understand why coffee has such a bad reputation when it comes to oral health. Indeed, nearly 2 billion cups of coffee are drunk every day in the world.
Coffee is composed of tannins, at an extremely high level. Tannins have positive effects on the body, as they are antioxidants. On the teeth, however, it is not the same thing.
Tannins are responsible for the stains that coffee can leave on the teeth. Tannins are the reason why coffee turns teeth yellow.
In addition to tannins, coffee contains acids. Over time, the acids in coffee damage the teeth and their surface. They can reduce the enamel of the teeth and make the teeth more fragile.
Caffeine is also dangerous for the health of the gums. It is for these reasons that we tend to say that coffee is bad for the teeth and the gums.
II. How the Acid in Coffee Breaks Down Your Teeth
The acid in coffee is a compound that acts on the structure of teeth. The enamel, which is the outer membrane of the teeth, is slowly destroyed by the acid in coffee.
Drinking coffee changes the pH of your mouth. The pH of the mouth is normally neutral, but after a cup of coffee (especially black), it becomes acidic. This means that the oral environment becomes too acidic for the components of your mouth, including your teeth.
By drinking coffee, you erode your teeth, which eventually become sensitive.
III. Black Coffee Vs Coffee with Cream
If coffee is responsible for certain oral problems, it appears that it also depends on the way you consume it.
By mixing your coffee with milk, you reduce the risk of getting coffee stains on your teeth. The cream and the milk allow the coffee to have a lighter color. But beyond that, adding cow’s milk to your black coffee will help you enjoy the benefits of cow’s milk.
Cow’s milk is rich in calcium. It will therefore add to the strength of your teeth.
It is better to choose cream coffee rather than black coffee to protect your teeth.
IV. Should I Switch to Tea?
Tea indeed contains fewer tannins than coffee. Tea is said to have half the tannin content of coffee, which means that it too is likely to stain your teeth.
However, according to some studies, it would be more black tea. Green tea, on the other hand, would be a plus for oral health. Despite the presence of tannins, green tea is an antibacterial agent that helps to keep the whole mouth healthy.
In Japan, tests have shown better gum health in green tea drinkers than in those who did not drink green tea.
V. Does Black Coffee Cause Cavities?
Coffee stains on teeth are usually caused by black coffee. In addition to this, black coffee is also very acidic and can therefore reduce tooth enamel, which would cause tooth hypersensitivity.
Nevertheless, some studies tend to demonstrate the benefits of black coffee in the prevention of cavities. In Brazil, research conducted on Robusta coffee has highlighted its antibacterial effects.
VI. How to Reduce Coffee Stains on Teeth?
1. Brush Your Teeth After Every Cup of Coffee
If you want to reduce the risk of stains on your teeth, you should follow good dental hygiene. But don’t brush your teeth immediately after your cup of coffee.
Rinse your mouth with clean water first, because right after you drink your coffee, your mouth is acidic. Brushing immediately afterward will weaken your teeth.
2. Use Dental Floss
It is important to introduce the use of dental floss in good oral hygiene. Dental floss allows for getting rid of the remains between the teeth.
If these are not removed, in the long run, they will turn into bacteria, which will attack the teeth and gums.
3. Mouthwash with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a very useful product for general health. You can make a baking soda mouthwash by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of plain water. Use the product as a mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
Baking soda is a natural whitener, which will remove coffee stains from your teeth.
4. Regular Dental Cleanings
Regular visits to your dentist are a good way to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. Scaling will keep your teeth white and strong.
Note that when you have tartar on your teeth, they stain faster.
VII. Other Questions About the Effect of Coffee on Teeth and Gums
1. Is Iced Coffee Bad for Your Teeth?
To avoid coffee staining your teeth, one of the tips is to avoid hot coffee and switch to cold coffee instead.
The heat of coffee plays a role in the demineralization of enamel, as well as in the appearance of stains on teeth. By drinking cold coffee, you reduce the risks associated with coffee.
2. Is Coffee or Soda Worse for Your Teeth?
Coffee may stain teeth, but it can also protect against cavities. As for soda, this is not the case.
Soda is a drink rich in chemicals that weaken tooth enamel. Even sugar-free or diet versions are still very acidic.
3. Does Coffee Cause Tooth Decay?
Coffee is not known to cause tooth decay. But it can weaken tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity.
Some studies point to coffee’s ability to help fight the spread of bacteria throughout the mouth, thus preventing tooth decay.
4. Does Coffee Weaken Enamel?
Coffee contains acids that can weaken tooth enamel. This is why, over time, coffee consumption can cause tooth demineralization.
Black coffee is more concerned than coffee with milk because milk contains calcium that can help strengthen teeth.
5. Do Teeth Get Whiter After Quitting Coffee?
If you have coffee stains on your teeth, it will take impeccable oral hygiene to get rid of them; even after you stop drinking coffee.
Quitting coffee won’t immediately make your teeth whiter. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and use mouthwash, and floss.
This may not be enough to remove the stains you already have on your teeth, and you may need professional whitening.
6. Can I Brush My Teeth with Coffee?
It is not advisable to brush your teeth directly after your cup of coffee. Your mouth is still an acidic environment at this point, and brushing will only weaken your teeth.
Start by rinsing your mouth with clean water. Ideally, wait another 30 minutes or so before brushing.
And the answer to the question is yes. You can brush your teeth with coffee, but only if you wash your mouth afterward.
There are other natural, more effective, and healthier ingredients to clean your teeth with. Examples are charcoal and baking soda.
7. Is Coffee Worse for Your Teeth Than Tea?
Coffee and black tea have about the same amount of tannins. But green tea is better than both. Nevertheless, all teas seem to provide a lot in oral health.
Tea is an antibacterial that prevents cavities, thanks to the polyphenols it contains. Also, even though black tea can stain the teeth, it is beneficial for the health of the teeth.
8. Does Coffee Cause Gingivitis?
The acids in coffee can be dangerous for the gums. But the negative effect of coffee on gum health is accentuated by the sugar. So if you avoid adding sugar to your coffee, you reduce your risk of weakening your gums.
You can also drink a glass of water after your cup of coffee.