Here’s What Caffeine Is Doing To Your Teeth
A year ago
3 Common Effects Caffeine Has On Our Teeth:
Calling all bubble tea and teh peng fanatics, coffee heads, or those who drink soft drinks like water, this post is for you. Do you know what all that caffeine is doing to your teeth? Despite umpteen warnings from dental health practitioners, we all know that it’s no easy feat to cut out caffeinated drinks from our daily lives. Especially if you’re the kind to rely on a steaming cup of joe to kickstart your day, or is one who feels office lunch breaks aren’t complete without bubble tea as a quick pick-me-up.
You’re not alone, but before you get too happy, here’s what your daily cuppa is doing to your smile:
1. Staining your teeth
The general rule of thumb is, if it can stain your clothes, it can also stain your teeth. Coffee and tea contain a natural compound known as tannins, which causes pigments to stick on your teeth. They can become embedded in the microscopic ridges and pits of tooth enamel, leaving an unsightly yellowish hue throughout. The more coffee you drink, the more yellow your teeth become, and it only takes one cup of coffee a day for your smile to be progressively discoloured over time. And no, creamy or lighter coloured coffee doesn’t do any less damage.
2. Eroding your teeth
Soda, coffee and most teas are acidic beverages, which lead to the erosion of tooth enamel as time passes, causing teeth to become weak and brittle. Such teeth are a lot more susceptible to a slew of other dental problems such as sensitivity, cavities and decay. Upon erosion, the underlying layer called dentin (which is yellow-coloured, by the way) becomes exposed, which also contributes to having unsightly yellow teeth.
3. Clenching of teeth
Did you know that caffeine has a half-life of three to 12 hours after being consumed? It may keep you going during the day, but can also severely affect your sleep, especially if you’re a nighttime drinker. This is because caffeine triggers muscle activity, which may cause you to clench or grind your teeth even when you’re asleep. This wears away the teeth’s enamel, and may even cause them to chip or break in severe cases. Also, not only does clenching adversely affect your sleep quality, causing you to feel sluggish throughout the day, it also overworks and inflames the jaw muscles, making them feel sore.
4 Good Tips To Prevent Caffeine from taking a hit on our teeth:
Despite all these, avoiding caffeine entirely is a completely unrealistic goal for many, so how can we prevent it from damaging our teeth while still enjoying our regular cuppa?
1. Use a teeth-whitening kit
What better way is there to remove stubborn stains on your teeth from the comfort of your own home? Teeth-whitening kits are a quick and effective way to achieve a whiter and brighter smile without breaking the bank. We recommend using Mooi, a highly-raved about at-home teeth whitening kit that safely and effectively removes yellow stains and buildup without the use of harsh chemical ingredients that damage enamel and cause sensitivity. If you’re still a little iffy, Mooi has been reviewed by numerous people who agree that it lightens teeth by up to multiple shades, so we think it’s worth giving a shot!
2. Avoid sipping drinks throughout the day
To avoid permanent staining of your teeth, remove as many traces of those staining tannins by rinsing your mouth with water, followed by brushing with a stiff-bristled toothbrush. In this case, finishing your drink in one go is better than sipping on it every now and then. Be cautioned that if you’re brushing your teeth right after, you may be brushing some of your enamel off as well, so do wait at least 30 minutes after drinking to do so.
In addition, your teeth require any time around 30 minutes to two hours to recover from an acid attack, so if you’re sipping on your coffee or soda every now and then throughout the day, you may be weakening your teeth at a far more alarming rate than you think.
3. Drink through a straw
If you can’t change how often you drink caffeine, at least change how you drink it. Drinking through a straw greatly minimises the contact between the beverage and your pearly whites, reducing the likelihood of those staining compounds settling into your teeth. We recommend leaving some reusable straws by your desk in the office, or keeping a pack of those with you all the time as you never know when you’ll need one. That said, you definitely don’t want to be swishing drinks that aren’t water around like a mouthwash as well.
4. Consume raw vegetables and fruits
Fruits and vegetables are some of the best foods for maintaining a gleaming smile. Raw vegetables and crisp fruits like celery, carrots and apples aid in removing plaque from teeth and freshening your breath. Munching on them also stimulates salivation, which removes food particles and neutralises any acids left behind that attack your teeth. Many of them also contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C, which protects your gums from bacterial infections and damage.