Is your favorite part of waking up, pouring a piping hot cup of coffee, or making a stop by the nearest coffee shop for an overpriced latte? If so, that habit could be taking a toll on more than just your wallet. Over time, acidic drinks like coffee and also many sodas, can start to erode your teeth’s enamel. This can lead to pain, and eventually cavities. It can also contribute to the development of gum disease. Fortunately, there are several ways you can help to protect your smile, and they don’t require that you give up your favorite caffeinated beverage altogether!
What Is That Acidity Really Doing to Your Dental Health?
First, keep in mind that if you are drinking coffee with flavored syrups, lots of cream, or sugar, then you are exposing your teeth to sugar, which allows bacteria to feed. This can increase your risk of cavities, which would likely need tooth fillings.
Plain black coffee isn’t filled with sugar, but there is still a potential to damage one’s smile, and that is because of the high level of acidity. Any acidic beverage can lead to enamel erosion. This includes sodas, many teas, and many fruit juices, as well, especially citrus ones.
How Can You Protect Your Smile?
If giving up coffee or soda altogether isn’t an option for you, or at least not one you will stick with, there are still some ways you can help to protect your smile.
For instance, you could:
- Sip cold beverages through a straw, to limit how much contact they have with teeth’s enamel.
- Drink these beverages only with meals, since the act of chewing produces saliva, the body’s natural defense against plaque buildup.
- Drink quickly, then chew a piece of sugar-free gum, or even better, brush your teeth. This limits how long the acidic beverage remains on the teeth.
- Drink water after other beverages, to help gently clean the teeth in between brushings.
- Make sure you brush twice a day, and floss between your teeth at least once a day. This helps to remove bacteria before it can calcify onto teeth.
Protect Your Smile with a Dental Cleaning
A healthy diet helps keep your smile protected. That said, routine dental visits are still essential. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Stephens and Gatewood Dentistry in Spring, TX, call 281-320-2000.