So many of us rely on it to give an extra boost or start to our morning routine: that’s right, a nice, warm, soothing cup of brewed coffee. Of course, many of us may not touch the stuff if it wasn’t sweet enough to combat the bitterness. If that’s the case, did you ever consider how much that added sugar is contributing to your plaque buildup? Your dentist in Tomball isn’t asking you cut coffee out entirely (even though it can stain your teeth) so instead, they’re offered some tips to cut out some of the sugar.
What Sugar-Filled Coffee Does to Your Teeth
Every time you put sugar or cream in your coffee and take a sip, you expose your teeth to many harmful ingredients. It’s bad enough that coffee stains your teeth by entering the porous surface of your teeth, but the sugar you add only aids the bacteria in your mouth more. When you eat sugar, bacteria consume it and expels waste that becomes plaque.
As this plaque builds up, it causes your enamel to break down and let coffee’s strong pigment stain your teeth more deeply. It also makes brushing it away more difficult and your breath stink afterwards! That’s why trying these tips the next time you visit the coffee shop can do wonders for your oral health.
Consider Getting a Smaller Size
The first step to protecting your teeth is to reevaluate your sugar intake. If you usually get a medium (or venti as it’s also called) opt for a smaller size to reduce it further. You should especially consider this if you tend to get a more complex drink that uses caramel or chocolate, which are notorious for being filled with sugar. Gradually reduce your coffee size every week or so to make it easier to adapt.
Skip the Extras You Usually Get
Do you usually get whipped cream or chocolate syrup in your morning coffee? The more extras you get, the closer your coffee will turn into a dessert rather than a typical coffee. Imagine if you started the day eating two cake rolls instead of coffee. Many of these drinks have almost as much sugar, so seeing your daily coffee in these terms may prove enlightening.
Furthermore, consuming less sugar at the start of the day will decrease your chances of crashing later, making it easier to finish your workday.
Use Less Sugar or a Substitute
If you’re going to add sweeteners, try using a healthier alternative such as honey or agave which are naturally sweet to satisfy your cravings. You can also try creating a new flavor pairing by adding cinnamon, cocoa, or cacao. If you add two creamers or two tablespoons of sugar to your coffee, cut it back to one for a week so let your body adjust to the reduced intake.
Don’t let your teeth suffer just to start your day. Making the effort to remove sugar from your coffee holds many benefits. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Tomball to learn more!
About the Author
Dr. James D. Geer earned his undergraduate education from Trinity University at San Antonio and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas at Houston. He’s a member of many dental associations, including the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the Willowbrook Dental Study Club. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (281) 357-4337 or visit his website.