July 16, 2018

Can I Drink Coffee While Wearing Braces?

Some of us live off our love of coffee a little more than we’d care to admit.

Some of us live off our love of coffee a little more than we’d care to admit. The smell of coffee gets you out of bed in the morning. The warm cup is the only hot beverage suitable for all seasons.

Now that your orthodontist has recommended that you get clear braces, does that mean no more coffee?

Believe it or not, many patients have this concern. Coffee has a reputation of making your teeth a little less white. Its acidic properties and dark color make it a poor option for those trying to improve their smiles. The last thing you want to see when you take your braces off is polka-dot teeth.

But don’t worry! Is the world around you better off if you have coffee in the morning? There is hope. Here are a few tips on keeping your teeth white without giving up your morning cup of joe.

1. Milk

Almost everyone has specific coffee preferences. Cream and two sugars? Soy with vanilla? Flavored creamer? If you want to make coffee have less of an effect on your teeth, drink it with milk. The proteins in milk bind to the chemicals in coffee that threaten your pearly white smile. It keeps them from staining your teeth.

Unfortunately for the 30 to 50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant, soy does not do the same. It will only lighten the color of the coffee, not bond with the acidic staining chemicals in the coffee like milk does.

2. Brush

If you want to enjoy coffee while you are wearing clear braces, be prepared to add some extra brushing time to your day. One hour after drinking coffee, brush your teeth. Why wait an hour? The acid in coffee, and really any food or drink, softens the enamel on your teeth. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes for the acidic levels in your mouth to return to normal.

Even though an hour has gone by, you still have a chance to brush the coffee off your teeth before they get stained.

3. Water

When is it NOT a good idea to drink more water? Just ask your mom.

Drink water right after you drink coffee. You won’t have to wait an hour like you do for brushing. Just swish tap water around in your mouth to rinse the excess coffee off your teeth.

4. Straw

While you are wearing clear braces, use a straw to drink anything that has sugar or acidic properties. The only liquids that are truly safe are tap water and milk.

Consider going an eco-friendly route and get a straw you can throw in the dishwasher.

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2924 Kavanaugh Blvd
Little Rock, Arkansas