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Teeth and Coffee: What You Need to Know

Even the promise of pearly whites isn’t enough to stop most people from drinking their regular coffee. Just because it is known to affect your oral health, doesn’t mean you should give it up though. By understanding what coffee does, you can make a few changes to make sure you get the best of both worlds. Here is how coffee can affect your teeth, and what you can do about it.


The tannin in coffee is what affects the color of your teeth. Given that it will leave a mark on the inside of your cup, you can be sure that it can stain your teeth. The best approach is to limit your intake. For instance, you could limit your coffee intake to in the morning rather than throughout the day. The longer that acid stays in your mouth, the worse it is for oral health.

Drinking water after a cup can help to wash away some of the acids, but because it will build up after a cup of coffee, brushing soon after is advisable as is keeping up with your regular dental cleanings. Cosmetic dentistry by Dr. Karen Ho and Palm View Dental can help. By removing stains, it means you can carry on drinking your regular fix, without having to worry about your smile.


Everyone knows about coffee breath. Coffee leaves your mouth dry. This causes bad breath. When there is a lack of saliva in your mouth, bacteria can form a lot easier. Again, a glass of water will help, or if you really want to get rid of the smell, sugar-free gum is even better.

What Can You Do for Coffee Stained Teach?

We mentioned cosmetic dentistry earlier. If years of drinking coffee, red wine, fizzy drinks, hard candy, and other staining foods have left your teeth discolored then cosmetic dentistry could be a good idea.

This depends on how you feel about your smile, of course. Through regular brushing, dentist visits, and flossing you can help to reverse the effects of coffee on teeth. Whitening toothpaste is another approach you can take. Still, not all kinds of toothpaste are made equal. There are some that are promoted as being good for coffee drinkers or smokers specifically but can contain ingredients that are harmful to your teeth in other ways. Consult your dentist for advice on a good toothpaste that can help to lift stains.

The Good News

It’s not all bad news. Black coffee contains polyphenols that help to break down plaque. Some blends contain higher amounts than others. When you drink coffee with milk, creamer or sugar, you are not going to be getting the same benefit.

No one is saying you should stop drinking coffee altogether though. You can make a difference in the appearance of your teeth by just reducing the amount you drink and rinsing your mouth when you’re finished. Otherwise make sure you are doing the basics like brushing twice a day, and don’t skip your annual dental exams.