How Does Coffee Affect Teeth?

How Does Coffee Affect Teeth? - MySweetSmile

Everyone knows that coffee isn’t exactly the best thing to be drinking if pearly whites are your goal, but nobody (including us) can go without their morning coffee! So if we all know it’s not great for teeth, but we still drink it anyway, how bad really is it for your teeth? Let’s find out…

According to the British Coffee Association, the United Kingdom consumes 95 million cups of the stuff every single day. The entire world consumes 2.25 billion cups a day! That’s a lot of people who will experience some of the side effects of drinking coffee.

What does coffee cause?

  • Stained Teeth
  • Bacteria buildup on teeth, gums, and tongue
  • ‘Coffee breath’ 🤢

How does coffee stain teeth?

Coffee’s ability to stain your teeth is due to one primary plant compound, found in many other drinks like red wine and tea, called ‘Tannins’. A study into the tannin content of tea and coffee found that green coffee contains approximately 0.7% tannins by weight, by roasting the coffee this increases to 1.8%. Whilst this might not seem like a lot, unfortunately, it is still enough to stain your teeth especially if, like us, you drink multiple cups of coffee a day.

One common misconception we hear is, ‘if I add milk or cream coffee can’t stain my teeth as much right?’ However, no matter how much you dilute it, you’re still consuming the same amount of coffee, which means you’re consuming the same amount of those pesky Tannins.

‘Coffee breath’

Everyone is familiar with "coffee breath". We all know that one person, be it at school or work, who has a bad case of “coffee breath”. Surprisingly though, coffee is actually not to blame. The main reason we all drink coffee is because it contains caffeine, but what you probably don’t know is caffeine causes xerostomia (also known as a dry mouth). A dry mouth is the main cause of bad breath from coffee, as it creates the perfect environment for bacteria which naturally occurs in your mouth to quickly multiply, causing bad breath. Usually, your saliva keeps this bacteria at a balanced level. But with the reduced amount of saliva after consuming caffeine, bacteria begin clinging to areas of your tongue in higher concentrations, causing “coffee breath”, or should we say, “caffeine breath” 🤔

How do I stop coffee staining my teeth?

Stained teeth and bad breath, we’ve probably knocked your confidence a bit after your morning coffee. You’ll be glad to hear there are ways to both protect against future stains and also repair any previous stains from all that coffee you’ve been drinking!

We’ve got a few recommendations from dental experts on how to continue drinking your morning coffee, but minimise the negative side effects it has:\

  • Drink your coffee through a reusable straw.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water immediately after your coffee.
  • Brush your teeth right after waking up, to protect your teeth against coffee.
  • Try avoiding other foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth.

How do I get rid of my coffee breath?

This part is actually super easy. Like we learnt above, bad breath isn’t caused by coffee itself but the xerostomia, from consuming caffeine,  which causes a dry mouth. Here are the recommendations our dental experts gave us on avoiding coffee breath:

  • Drink water after your coffee to avoid xerostomia (dry mouth). 
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water immediately after your coffee.
  • Brush your teeth after enjoying your coffee
  • Try a mint or chew some minty gum

How do I fix my coffee-stained teeth?

Whilst these tips will help minimise coffee stains, it’s not always convenient to use mouthwash or brush your teeth after your morning coffee, whilst you’re at work or on the train. This means inevitably, coffee stains will slowly build up on your teeth. 

Luckily, there are options available to sort out already coffee-stained teeth. Such as our Teeth Whitening Powder, find out how it can fix those coffee teeth below.