Don't Brush Your Teeth After Drinking Coffee. Here's Why

With coffee being one of the top culprits of teeth staining, many people dash for the bathroom after getting their early morning caffeine buzz to brush their teeth and reduce any potential damage. While it makes sense to brush one's teeth after the fact, experts actually encourage the opposite approach.

Coffee is acidic and therefore goes right to work on eroding away the protective enamel on each of our teeth (via Dawson Dental). Because enamel is made up of minerals rather than live tissue, it does not have the means to grow back. Therefore it's important to take preventative measures to reduce enamel loss, which can lead to further dental decay.

Contrary to what you might assume, brushing your teeth immediately after a morning coffee is a little like the phrase, "kicking you when you're down." Because the acid in coffee already weakens tooth enamel, when we brush, we are actually furthering that enamel damage by spreading the acid throughout the mouth (via Huff Post).

Consider rinsing your mouth or brushing teeth beforehand instead

Instead of brushing teeth after indulging, experts state that it's more effective to brush beforehand. Christina Meiners, a dentist at the CommuniCare Health Centers in San Antonio, tells Huff Post, "Brushing your teeth before you have coffee removes plaque buildup and makes it more difficult for stains to adhere." This way, the coffee isn't able to seep into the crevices of our teeth as easily.

Of course, not everyone loves the taste of minty toothpaste intermingling with their morning latte. As an alternative, dentists advise a thorough mouth rinsing after your coffee, rather than a full on brushing session (via Dawson Dental). The good news is, brushing after your morning cup of joe doesn't have to be entirely ruled out. If you're a habituated after-breakfast brusher, just consider allowing a little more time to pass between consumption and brushing. Experts at Delta Dental explain that by holding off for about a half an hour, you allow your mouth enough time to recover from the high amount of acid intake. Once that happens, the enamel returns to its previously-hardened state, at which point, teeth are able to safely withstand brushing once again.