Why Coffee Is Doing More Damage To Your Teeth Than You Think

If you take the color of your teeth as seriously as we do, we've got bad news for you. According to celebrity dentist Dr. Mark Hughes, "Anything that would mark a white t-shirt will mark your teeth." Speaking to the Daily Mail, he continued, "It doesn't always have to be the unhealthy things. Even one glass of wine or cup of coffee will leave tannins directly on the tooth surface." Yep, unfortunately, your morning cup of liquid gold (read: coffee) is doing some serious damage to your teeth. And it actually does far worse than simply staining them.

As Kourosh Maddahi, DDS, a cosmetic dentist based in Beverly Hills, explained to Greatist, coffee is (surprisingly) acidic. As a result, when you drink it, it changes the pH balance of your mouth and anything that you eat afterward that's even the slightest bit acidic can cause damage to your teeth much faster than usual. Time to rethink having that OJ for breakfast! Worse still, according to Healthline, drinking coffee has the potential to cause tooth and enamel erosion.

How to prevent coffee stains on your teeth

So what do you do if you simply can't give up caffeine, but don't want to ruin your teeth? While many will tell you to use a straw, cosmetic dentist and co-founder of SmilesNY, Dr. Timothy Chase, claims it's wishful thinking. "The usage of straws doesn't keep staining liquids from toughing your teeth," he told Bustle. Dr. Paul Sussman of the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry agreed, telling the Daily Mail, "The [sugary or acidic] liquid still makes contact with the teeth, so plaque can still form and lead to cavities if you don't practice good oral hygiene."

Instead, try to remember to brush your teeth after drinking coffee. "If you're not able to brush, rinsing with water and spitting it out or even just drinking it will help get surface materials off the teeth," Dr. Matthew Messina, DDS, a consumer advisor for the American Dental Association and assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, advised PopSugar

Adding a dash of milk to your coffee can also make a big difference (via The Healthy). Latte, anyone?