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Is Coffee Bad for your Teeth?

Attention coffee lovers! You may want to grab a seat and watch our latest video, "Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth?" As much as we love the taste and aroma of coffee, it's important to understand the potential negative effects it can have on our pearly whites.

In the video, we dive into the science behind coffee staining and the pH level of coffee. Did you know that coffee contains chromogens, compounds that can easily stick to the surface of your teeth and cause discoloration? But that's not all, the acidity of coffee can also erode the enamel on your teeth over time, making them more susceptible to cavities and decay.

Don't worry, we're not here to ruin your love for coffee. We also provide some tips on how to minimize the impact of coffee on your teeth and maintain good oral health.

So, if you're a coffee addict or just curious about the effects of coffee on your teeth, make sure to check out our new video is coffee bad for your teeth now!

Is coffee bad for your teeth - find out in our in depth video

Does Coffee Stain Teeth?

Does coffee stain teeth? Coffee is a popular beverage that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. However, drinking coffee can also have negative effects on teeth due to its ability to cause staining. Coffee staining occurs when the dark pigments in coffee penetrate the porous enamel of the teeth and cause discoloration. In the video, we don't go that far into coffee staining generally because it isn't a health concern and because it easily comes off with a good scale and clean which you can get with the new EMS Airflow Master from the clinic. Of course we understand though that it may not look the nicest and you may want some more information, so we will discuss what causes coffee staining, whether it is serious, how you can remove the stains, and how you can prevent them below.


What Causes Coffee Staining?

Coffee staining is caused by the natural pigments in coffee, which are called chromogens. These pigments are able to bind to the enamel on the surface of teeth, causing discoloration over time. In addition, coffee is acidic, which can erode the enamel and make teeth more susceptible to staining.

Is Coffee Staining Serious?

Coffee staining is not a serious dental problem, but it can be unsightly and cause embarrassment. In addition, it may be a sign of more significant dental issues, such as enamel erosion or tooth decay.

How Can You Remove Coffee Stains?

There are several methods for removing coffee stains from teeth, including at-home remedies and professional treatments. At-home remedies may include brushing with baking soda, using whitening toothpaste, or using whitening strips. Professional treatments may include in-office whitening treatments or custom-fit whitening trays.

How Can You Prevent Coffee Stains?

The best way to prevent coffee stains is to limit the amount of coffee you drink or to drink it through a straw. Additionally, brushing and flossing regularly can help remove surface stains and prevent enamel erosion. It is also important to avoid smoking, which can cause significant staining and damage to teeth.

Coffee pH and your Teeth

If you're like most people, you probably can't start your day without a good cup of coffee. But have you ever thought about what that delicious brew is doing to your teeth? As a dental clinic, we're here to shed some light on the pH of coffee as we ask 'is coffee bad for your teeth' and its impact on your oral health.

So is coffee bad for your teeth? Let's start with the basics. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. The pH of pure water is 7, which is considered neutral. So, where does coffee fall on the pH scale? Well, that depends on a few factors, such as the type of coffee bean, the brewing method, and any additives you might use.

Generally speaking, coffee has a pH of around 5, which makes it slightly acidic. This may not seem like a big deal, but over time, acidic substances can wear away the protective enamel on your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. Lets take a look at the pH scale and see where things stand.

pH level of coffee.jpg

As you can see from the above table... having a pH around 5 is definitely in the acidic range. The critical pH from a dental perspective is anything lower than 5.5 where the acid starts to suck out the minerals in your teeth. So is coffee bad for your teeth? Yes! Fear not though... there are some things you can do to improve the pH of your coffee or alternatively, limit the damage by having an acidic drink

Add Milk

From our experiments in the video, we were able to show than adding milk to your coffee significantly raised the pH level of coffee. Critically adding milk raised the pH over the 5.5 threshold into the 6's category which means that having a latte rather than a black coffee is beneficial from a dental standpoint. Interestingly by adding milk, the answer to the question, is coffee bad for your teeth can change to no!

Lower the Temperature

Temperature and pH are related! The higher temperature of a coffee or liquid in general, the more acidic the beverage. This can be seen from the below graph

temperature affects the pH of a liquid.jpg

So if you are someone who orders their coffee 'extra hot', you need to be aware that the pH of your coffee is lower and thus more likely to do damage to your teeth. Inversely, our video showed that dramatically dropping the temperature (for say an iced coffee) also raised the pH of coffee and with it, reduces the acidic effect on your teeth

Limit Time in Mouth

With all acidic drinks, coffee being no exception, the longer time that the acidic beverage remains in your mouth and importantly, over your teeth, the more the acid does damage to your teeth. Thus it is better to drink your coffee rather than sip it continually over a long period of time. Think of it as 'time over teeth'. The longer the coffee is exposed to the teeth in duration, the more likely damage will occur.. Also a damaging practice is the 'swishing' of coffee around your mouth. This is something that often people will do... often without realising it. If you notice yourself doing this.. consider the effect it has on your teeth

Coffee Gives you a Dry Mouth

As a dental clinic, we get asked a lot about whether coffee is bad for your teeth. Whilst the answer is...yes, but probably not for the reasons that you may think.. Let us explain.

Let's talk about how coffee can dry out your mouth. You know that feeling when you take a sip of coffee and suddenly your mouth feels like the Sahara desert? That's because coffee is a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration. And when your mouth is dry, it doesn't produce enough saliva, which is essential for neutralising acids and bacteria that can cause tooth decay.


Basically, saliva is the king of keeping your mouth healthy so when something that is a diuretic like coffee comes in and dries out your mouth... there isn't enough saliva to do it's job properly, enabling an environment where you are more likely to get cavities. So, when you drink coffee, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated and your teeth healthy.

But that's not all. Coffee also contains tannins, which are organic compounds found in plants. Tannins are what give coffee its bitter taste and can also be found in tea, wine, and chocolate. But here's the thing: tannins are not your teeth's best friend. They can stain your teeth, causing them to become yellow or brown over time. They can also cause your teeth to feel rough or gritty, which can make it easier for plaque and bacteria to stick to your teeth.

Is coffee bad for your teeth? After all this I think the answer is 'it depends'. If you follow the steps outlined... have it with milk, drink it, don't sip it constantly, don't continually have it throughout the day... then more than likely the answer to is coffee bad for your teeth can be a confident no!

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