Coffee in the morning: no highlight at all for the teeth
Everyone is probably familiar with this scenario: You wake up on a lazy Sunday and enjoy your coffee before getting ready for the day – or you always have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning to wake up at all during the weekday. As a rule, you then waited to brush your teeth because everyone knows that coffee can cause discoloration on freshly brushed teeth.
The right time to brush your teeth
“Brushing your teeth right after coffee to get rid of the coffee smell isn’t a good idea, either,” Vera Tang, a clinical assistant professor at the NYU College of Dentistry, told our colleagues at SELF. “The reason for this is that coffee is acidic and it can take half an hour or more for the salivary proteins to break down the acidity in the mouth. So if you brush your teeth right after coffee, you’re pushing the acid into the pores of your teeth.” Yes, you read that right, teeth have pores too!
For people who drink a lot of milk in their coffee, there’s slightly better news: “It reduces acidity,” says Dr. Tang. Still, she recommends rinsing your mouth out with water after your morning caffeine rush and waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth — even for people who drink more milk than coffee.
You should know that
While we’re on the subject, regardless of what you’ve been seeing on social media lately, you shouldn’t worry about how long it takes to finish your morning coffee, reveals Julie Cho, a dentist in New York York City, opposite “SELF”. Despite claims that prolonged acid exposure from coffee can be harmful, chances are your teeth will be safe if you drink your coffee at the usual pace. “Even if you’re sipping your coffee for hours, you’re swallowing in between and closing your lips, which means your natural saliva is constantly cleaning your teeth,” explains Dr. Cho. You would have to continuously rinse the coffee for a long period of time for the acid to be harmful.
While the coffee itself may not do any significant harm if you drink from a thermos for a long time (as long as you don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking!), for people who like to put sugar in their coffee, this habit can be harmful: “If you’re drinking to and fro throughout the day, sugar levels are a bigger problem than acid levels,” says Dr. Tang. Sugar is known to cause tooth decay, so it’s best to consume it all at once – within 5 to 10 minutes – rather than spread out throughout the day, as slow and continuous sugar consumption can be far more damaging to teeth than rapid intake .
If you are generally considering limiting your morning coffee consumption, this fact may give you the necessary food for thought: Coffee in the morning can even be a mistake for the body, which experts warn against, because the body’s cortisol levels can get mixed up.
This article comes from our colleagues at “SELF”.