How Much Coffee? What About My Teeth?

How often do you stop for a coffee a week?

In Kennewick, WA, we’re about 3 and a half hours from the world’s “Coffee Capital” in Seattle. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the occurrence of stained teeth wasn’t the same all over the country. In our practice, that means we see a lot of people who have healthy teeth, but they’re dissatisfied with how their lives as “Java Junkies” has affected their smiles. Coffee is one of the “Big Three” tooth stainers out there, along with smoking and wine (getting older is also a big contributor). It’s easy to understand procedures that whiten and brighten your smile are among the most popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry!

Care for a cuppa Joe? How about two? How about FIVE?

This past February was a big one for coffee lovers everywhere. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a government-appointed panel of nutrition experts, scientists, academics, and other experts made a fairly shocking recommendation. It advises the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration on how American diets should look.

The panel found that while the average American drinks about 1.7 cups of coffee a day, health benefits of coffee (such as reducing the risk for heart disease and type-2 diabetes, which themselves are also major contributors to periodontal or gum disease) are so strong that Americans should be drinking more coffee, not less. They recommend that Americans drink three to five cups of coffee a day, with no health risks at all (as long as you take it easy on the sugar, that is)!

So what does this mean for my smile? 

That’s really up to you! Keeping your teeth free of stains isn’t very difficult. It only takes three steps:

First, you must COMMIT to keeping a rigorous, regular oral hygiene routine. That means at least twice a day brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. 

Second, make and KEEP your appointments with your dentist. That means at least two times a year minimum for exams, checkups, and cleanings. 

Third, FOLLOW these instructions for keeping your teeth clean when you can’t brush, floss, and use mouthwash (like after a meal, especially one that includes a lot of foods and beverages that stain your teeth):

  1. Be Aware! While you’re eating or drinking, think about the foods and beverages you’re consuming. If the food or drink is something that would stain a white shirt or white carpet, you can assume that it will also badly stain your teeth.
  2. Swallow Quickly! If you are eating and drinking something that will likely cause bad stains on your teeth, make sure to swallow it quickly. We’re not telling you to swallow your food whole! Chew your food enough so that you can swallow it comfortably, just don’t let food or drink hang out in your mouth. The longer your teeth are in contact with staining agents, the more likely you will get stains and the worse they will be.
  3. Use a Straw! If you’ve got a drink that will stain your teeth (like coffee), use a straw if it’s available and comfortable! A straw’s beauty is in its simplicity. The beverage can’t cause stains because a straw directs it over your teeth where it can’t do as much staining (if at all).

What if I want to get my smile whitened? How can Marineland Dental Care help? 

Marineland Dental Care offers cosmetic dentistry to its patients, we don’t offer teeth whitening treatments. However, if your teeth are very badly stained or yellowed after years of consuming heavy-staining foods and beverages, we do offer veneers that will not only whiten and brighten your smile, it is a non-invasive procedure that provides lasting results (ten years or even more!).

A whitening or bleaching treatment fades quickly, but veneers (with good maintenance) are in it for the long haul, and they cover up other damage as well while protecting the surface of your teeth from further staining and damage!

Veneers are easy to place. We can design and make a custom set of veneers for you, and bond them to the surface of your teeth using dental cement, or we can build the veneer “on-site”: right on the surface of your tooth! Veneers are durable and esthetically-pleasing in both porcelain and composite resin (a very strong plastic).

We also offer tooth bonding and other cosmetic dental enhancements to help you get your whitest, brightest smile!

Don’t Delay! Make Your Appointment Today! 

Marineland Dental Care can help you get your best-looking and healthiest smile of your life! We provide both cosmetic and general dentistry services to keep you looking good and your teeth in great shape!

So enjoy that coffee as much as you like! We’ve got you covered! 

Call our office now at 509-591-0515, or click here to use our handy online appointment form!

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