Does Coffee Damage Your Teeth? (Truth Revealed)

Coffee is very acidic in nature. This acidity can weaken your teeth significantly over time. This weakening can worsen and lead to damaged teeth overall.

What is there left to say about coffee? The fact that it is so popular around the world makes it a very basic yet important part of our daily lives. But teeth are also important.

They contribute to giving you the perfect Hollywood smile. Those pearly whites are precious for everybody. But they can be damaged by the foods you eat or drink. Coffee, for instance, is very acidic. When your drink coffee every day, it can damage your teeth over time.

But what should be done? How can I enjoy coffee and also save my teeth? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered.

Keep on reading this article to know exactly what to do.

Does Coffee Erode Enamel?

3 people cheering with 3 different kinds of coffee in their respective hands

Drinks or foods high in acid can easily erode our tooth enamel like coffee. Coffee’s acid can lead to weakening and erosion of enamel.

Coffee or any beverage other than water has some effects on our teeth.

Coffee is a very complex drink. Studies show that coffee is quite healthy for our bodies.

Rather than some immediate effects, it improves our health overall by supplying us with antioxidants, protecting our bodies from type 2 diabetes, and helping in weight loss, etc. So, do you think it can have a major effect on teeth enamel?

Tooth enamel is the hard protective visible part of the complete tooth. Enamel is the hardest part of the human body. It is mostly made up of calcium and other important minerals.

This protective hard shell has been given to us for protecting the soft inner parts of the tooth which are the dentin, pulp, and blood vessels. The hard covering is what we use to bite into foods.

When you drink too much coffee, it can erode the enamel gradually. The acid from the coffee will weaken the enamel and thus erosion will start.  

6 mason jars filled with various fruit juices and straws

Here is a chart of some juices with their acidic levels. Keep in mind enamel erodes at 4.5 ph level and anything below that is too strong for your teeth.

Fruit Juicesph Levels
Apple 3.30
Orange3.69
Grape2.90
Pineapple3.20
Lemonade2

Is Coffee Bad For Your Teeth?

Any liquid or food that is high in acid content is bad for your teeth. Coffee in particular is one of them with high levels of acid present.

I went in-depth on the acidity of coffee in this one article I wrote, you can check it out to know more.

Our teeth play an important role in our daily lives. Teeth are the first thing that people notice when you smile- you should smile more often. They help us to chew our foods so they can be digested.

So, the first thing that food touches when going into our mouth is the teeth. They are directly affected by whatever kind of food we eat.

Foods or drinks that are high in acid level aren’t really the best for your teeth in particular. The high content of acid like from coffee or any soda can immediately damage your teeth.

The acid starts weakening your teeth if you’re a religious drinker of coffee. This weakening of teeth can cause more damage as the out layer will start wearing away. It may lead to chronic pain and you will not be able to eat orally for days.

This video will help explain more:

great video to watch for teeth health

How Do You Keep Coffee From Damaging Your Teeth?

You can protect your teeth from coffee. There are several ways like adding dairy to black coffee to decrease its acidity, brushing immediately after having coffee, drinking coffee with a straw, and maintaining a regime for quality oral health.

Many people are hooked on coffee like it’s as essential as water. Though coffee gives many benefits to our bodies, the most prominent and instant damage can be seen on our teeth.

And in this visual era, teeth are vital for having the perfect smile. But the most important part of having healthy teeth is that we need them to bite and chew our foods.  But coffee is not the big villain here as it might seem.

Though coffee is damaging for your teeth, we can surely damage control. I would say if you can stop drinking coffee for a while to try that to improve the health of the already damaging teeth.

But if you can’t, make these small changes I have listed below. Follow them in your coffee drinking routine and they will help you reduce the coffee causing damages to a great degree.  

Addition of Diary

Black coffee is the most acidic form of coffee. Since it contains pure coffee components without any additives, it can be really damaging for your teeth.

Start adding a bit of cream or full-fat milk to your coffee. The fats from the dairy will lower the acidity in the coffee. The fats will neutralize the acidic components and would also make your coffee taste delicious.

Drink Coffee Via Straw

Straws are a perfect way to safeguard your teeth from any possible damage from an acidic beverage. When you sip from a mug, you drink a small amount and it floats in your mouth and then you gulp it down your throat.

This interaction of coffee with your teeth in the mouth is what damages them. Therefore, by using a straw to drink your coffee whether hot or cold, you will sip coffee with barely any contact with your teeth.

The coffee from the straw will directly enter your throat. This way you will minimize the damage caused by coffee on your teeth.

You can choose from any kind of straw. Some best options for coffee drinking with a straw include:

  • Metal Straws
  • Paper Straws
  • Glass Straws
  • Biodegradable Straws
  • Edible Straws
  • PLA Straws

Brushing Teeth After Every Coffee

You must have heard since childhood about brushing teeth twice a day. That is good for your oral health. Brushing cleans your teeth from any damage caused by bacteria and removes small particles of food which can lead to bacterial growth.

This rule follows here as well. Whenever you drink coffee, brush your teeth immediately after consumption. This way even though your teeth did contract the acid, however since you brushed your teeth and removed it instantly, it would not cause any further damage.

a young girl brushing her teeth with a red toothbrush and pink toothpaste

Effects Of Coffee On Teeth And Gums?

Coffee has many effects on your teeth and gums. It can stain your teeth, wear down the enamel, and dry your mouth. These effects can lead to pain and infections in your teeth and gums.

You probably enjoy coffee for a variety of reasons, whether it is for its delicious taste or to wake you up in the morning. Americans drink nearly two cups of coffee each day.

Drinking an excessive amount of coffee every day may seem beneficial to your mental and physical health, but it can negatively impact your mouth, teeth, and gums. Too much coffee can damage your smile.

Here’s how:

Staining Teeth

If you drink one cup of coffee per day, then your teeth will have minimal staining. However, your teeth can become severely discolored and stained if you drink multiple cups per day.

The surface of your teeth may look smooth, but the layer of enamel covering your teeth contains numerous ridges and cracks. This along with bad oral hygiene will lead to stained teeth.

Worn Out Enamel

The acid from the coffee can erode the enamel. Enamel, which is the hard protective visible layer of the teeth will weaken by regular coffee drinking.

This weakening will let food particles and bacteria get inside the sensitive parts of the teeth.  This will lead to pain, infections, gum diseases, and much more.

Dry Mouth

Our mouths are naturally lubricated by saliva. Saliva plays a crucial part to maintain your oral hygiene. It washes down the food particles and any bacteria. Plus, it contains enamel-building minerals.

These minerals help fix small wear and tear in the enamel. But caffeinated drinks like coffee, stop the production of saliva in your mouth. Thus, more bacteria build up and more infections with no enamel building minerals present to protect the teeth.

How Do You Keep Coffee From Staining Your Teeth?

Since coffee stains aren’t permanent, they can be taken care of easily. You can drink water along with coffee, use whitening toothpaste, and use a straw. These small steps will ensure and reduce the coffee stains immensely.

Staining of teeth is quite common. Foods and beverages that contain colorants and active compounds like coffee or wine can stain your teeth. Nobody likes stained teeth.

But instead of worrying about it too much, you can easily prevent it from happening. Since coffee stains are not permanent, they can be removed easily. Follow the steps below to ensure the health and white pearls:

Drink Water with Coffee

The best way to prevent coffee from staining your teeth is by drinking coffee with water. Sounds weird? Most celebrities do this.

You take a sip of coffee and then sip on water immediately after. This will not let coffee particles sit on your teeth as water will wash them away and you can enjoy your coffee without any remorse.

Whitening Toothpaste

Another way to prevent coffee from staining your teeth is by using a whitening toothpaste rather than regular toothpaste.

These kinds of toothpaste contain additives that whiten your teeth and also make the teeth’ enamel stronger.

Colgate has a great variety of whitening toothpaste. You should brush twice a day using these kinds of toothpaste to ensure your teeth are free of coffee stains.

Use A Straw

The most efficient and instant way of preventing coffee from further damaging your teeth is by consuming coffee with a straw.

What it does, is that it does not let the coffee get in contact with your teeth. Thus, reduced the staining effects. Now no need to cut down coffee completely.

Final Thoughts

Teeth are very important for humans. Visually, they help us in getting the perfect smile for our selfies. Most importantly, we need them to survive, as humans do not have the ability to produce their own food within our bodies. And chewing food without teeth is impossible.

But coffee can have some effects on your teeth. As a matter of fact, any food or beverage that is acidic in nature like coffee has some effects on your teeth.

Your tooth enamel gets weakened and eventually starts eroding because of the acid present in the coffee. You can prevent it by drinking less coffee, drinking coffee with a straw, and avoiding drinking straight-up black coffee.

One more visible effect that coffee has on your teeth is staining. Though these stains are temporary. They can make your pearly whites turn yellow to brown.

You can avoid it by sipping coffee through a straw and using a whitening paste, to say the least. Coffee drinking shouldn’t be a problem if you make small changes.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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