If you'd like to give your oral health a bit of a boost, one thing that you can do is cut down on your coffee intake. Nobody is saying that you need to give up your morning cup entirely, but there are a number of reasons why your smile will thank you if you stop drinking mug after mug each day.
Here are just four reasons why you should curtail your coffee consumption.
1. Coffee Causes Staining
The enamel that covers your teeth is actually the hardest substance in your entire body, so why can it be discoloured by something like coffee? The truth is that, though hard, the surface of each tooth is not smooth; instead, there are thousands of small pits and ridges that are able to hold particles of food and drink. Unfortunately, coffee contains many dark pigments, and these can become embedded. Eventually, this can create permanent yellow staining across your smile.
2. Coffee Dries Out Your Mouth
Saliva is vital for good oral health; it helps break down food debris, allows for proper chewing, and even contains important compounds that help break down bacteria to keep your teeth healthy. Coffee is a strong diuretic, meaning that it's likely to dehydrate you, thus inhibiting saliva production. It also contains certain compounds that slow saliva production. If you do drink coffee, you can drink plenty of water to alleviate these effects, but it's best to just cut down a little.
3. Coffee Can Cause Bad Breath
As if discoloured teeth weren't bad enough, coffee can also cause bad breath. This is partly down to the drying effect that it has on the mouth, but there are several other factors at play. Most importantly, coffee contains compounds that tend to stick to the tongue. This issue is significantly compounded by the fact that coffee has a very strong odour, so those compounds will start to smell unpleasant very quickly.
4. Coffee Can Cause Tooth Decay
Like all drinks, save pure water, coffee contains acids that will react with the bacteria already present in your mouth. This is what causes cavities to occur, and the problem is often made worse by the fact that people tend to add sugar to every mug they take. Cavities will require fillings, though significant decay can also mean having a root canal or even an extraction. Cutting down on coffee can help prevent such eventualities.