Barista holding a cup of coffee.

Dental Health Tips For Coffee Drinkers

To many people, a daily cup of coffee is a treasured ritual. A hot cup of joe is one of the most popular beverages, and an essential part of many daily routine. However, drinking coffee can have some negative effects on your dental health. In this article, we’ll discuss some ways that you can minimize the impact that drinking coffee has on your dental health.

Why Is Coffee Bad For Your Teeth?

Coffee does have some qualities that can be bad for your teeth. The natural acidity of coffee is abrasive to tooth enamel. This can erode enamel and cause cavities in your teeth. The acidic environment of a sip of coffee, combined with sugar, can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria, along with the strong scent of the coffee, can lead to halitosis – “coffee breath.” And finally, coffee contains compounds that stain many surfaces, including your teeth. Frequent coffee drinkers may find their teeth yellowed from the drink.

Ways To Prevent Coffee From Damaging Your Teeth

Despite the drawbacks to dental health, many people would prefer to keep coffee in their daily routine. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent coffee from damaging your teeth:

  1. Brush Your Teeth After Drinking Coffee – A good tooth-brushing can clean away many of the harmful compounds left behind by your caffeine fix. It’s best to wait about 30 minutes after your morning cup before you brush your teeth. This gives the acid in the coffee time to neutralize a bit.
  2. Drink Water Alongside Your Coffee – Chasing a sip of coffee with a sip of water cleans your teeth as you go. Water’s neutral pH balance balances out the coffee’s acidity and helps rinse away harmful compounds.
  3. Add Milk To Your Coffee – If you normally drink your coffee black, adding a bit of milk might help. The milk will dilute the  coffee’s acidity, and add a bit of calcium as well. Calcium is known to strengthen tooth enamel, which further combats the risk of tooth decay from the coffee.
  4. Avoid Sugar And Use Artificial Sweeteners – Mixing sugar into coffee introduces another ingredient that promotes tooth decay. Using artificial sweeteners preserves the sweetness while avoiding the negative effects. Better yet, try avoiding sweeteners entirely to make your cup of coffee healthier.
  5. Use A Straw – Using a straw for your cup of coffee may seem unconventional, but it’s a great way to enjoy your drink without having the coffee touch your teeth.
  6. Reduce Your Coffee Intake – One of the simplest ways to reduce the negative effects of coffee on your teeth is to just reduce how much coffee you drink. If you normally drink two cups a day, try going down to one cup. If you just can’t do without, then try sipping your coffee slowly instead of gulping it down.
  7. Get A Professional Teeth Whitening – Even if you practice all of these other steps, you’ll probably want to get a professional teeth whitening periodically. This will reset the appearance of your teeth and clean up any unsightly stains left behind by your coffee habit.


Coffee may have some risks for your dental health, but you don’t have to quit drinking coffee entirely. With a few precautions, daily tooth brushing, and regular dental checkups, you can enjoy your favorite beverage while still maintaining the health and appearance of your teeth. And if you need some help cleaning up those coffee stains from your teeth, be sure to give us a call!