Coffee Drinkers: How To Make Your Habit Less Worrisome From A Dental Health Perspective

Do you feel guilty every time you reach for a cup of coffee? It's no secret, after all, that this favorite beverages leads to yellowed teeth and can also perpetuate tooth decay if you happened to stir some sugar, milk or creamer into it. Thankfully, you don't have to give up your coffee in order to protect your teeth. Here are a few easy ways to make your coffee habit less worrisome from a dental health perspective.

Use a straw.

Drinking coffee through a  straw sounds strange at first, but it really is better for your teeth. When you sip from a coffee cup, the drink comes into direct contact with your front teeth before moving further back on your tongue. When you sip from a straw, the coffee is deposited directly on your tongue, skipping your front teeth. This means less staining and less exposure to sugar.

Use a sugar substitute.

Drinking your coffee black may not be your thing, but have you tried using a sugar substitute like Splenda or Stevia instead of sugar? These additives don't feed oral bacteria like sugar does, so they don't contribute to tooth decay in the same manner. Keep in mind that it may take you some time to get used to the flavor of sugar substitute rather than sugar. Have a few cups prepared this way before you decide whether or not it's for you.

Choose a light-roast coffee.

Dark roast coffee is more likely to stain your teeth simply because it has a darker color. So, switch to light roast. Light roast coffee also has more caffeine than dark roast coffee, so you might be able to make it through the day with fewer cups – which is also beneficial for your teeth.

Sip water afterwards.

Keep a bottle of water next to your coffee mug. When you finish a mug of coffee, take a few sips of water. This will rinse the sugar and staining components off the surface of your teeth so they don't continue causing damage as you sit there.

Drinking coffee is never going to be great for your teeth, but if you follow the tips above, it does not have to be so terrible. Make sure you're also keeping up with your regular dental checkups. This way, if you do develop any cavities, your dentist can find and fill them before they get too severe.