Dr. Daniele Green, DDS

How to Drink Coffee Without Damaging Your Smile

Are you a coffee lover who enjoys sipping a hot cup of your favorite brew every morning? If so, you are not alone. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with over 2.25 billion cups consumed every day1Coffee has many benefits, such as boosting your energy, mood, and metabolism2. However, coffee also has some drawbacks, especially for your oral health. Coffee can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, and weaken your enamel. These effects can make your smile look dull, yellow, and unhealthy. As a cosmetic dentist, I see many patients who are unhappy with their smile because of coffee-related problems. They often ask me how they can enjoy coffee without damaging their smile. In this blog post, I will answer this question and share with you some tips on how to prevent or reverse the damage caused by coffee.

How Coffee Stains Your Teeth

One of the most common complaints I hear from coffee drinkers is that their teeth are stained by coffee. This is because coffee contains natural substances called tannins, which are responsible for its rich color and flavor. Tannins are also found in tea, wine, and other plants3. When you drink coffee, the tannins stick to the enamel of your teeth, which is the hard outer layer that protects them from decay. Over time, the tannins build up and form a yellowish or brownish discoloration on your teeth4.

The acidity of coffee also contributes to tooth staining. Coffee has a pH of around 5, which is lower than the neutral pH of 7 in your mouth5. When you drink acidic beverages, they lower the pH of your mouth and create an environment that favors the growth of bacteria. Bacteria produce acids that erode your enamel and make it more porous and prone to staining. Acidic drinks also dry out your mouth, which reduces the saliva that helps wash away food particles and bacteria.

How Coffee Causes Bad Breath

Another common problem that coffee drinkers face is bad breath. There are several reasons why coffee makes your breath smell unpleasant:

  • Coffee has a strong odor that lingers in your mouth after you drink it. The odor is caused by sulfur-containing compounds that are formed when coffee beans are roasted.
  • Coffee causes dry mouth, which worsens bad breath. As mentioned earlier, coffee is acidic and dehydrating, which reduces the saliva production in your mouth. Saliva is essential for keeping your mouth moist and clean, as it washes away food debris and odor-causing bacteria. When your mouth is dry, bacteria multiply and release volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which are the main cause of halitosis (bad breath).
  • Coffee may contain additives that feed bacteria. If you add sugar, milk, creamer, or flavored syrups to your coffee, you are providing more fuel for the bacteria in your mouth. Sugar is especially harmful, as it promotes tooth decay and gum disease, which are also sources of bad breath.

How to Prevent or Reverse Coffee Damage

If you want to enjoy coffee without damaging your smile, here are some tips that can help you prevent or reverse the damage caused by coffee:

  • Drink less coffee or switch to a less acidic alternative. Moderation is key when it comes to coffee consumption. Try to limit yourself to one or two cups a day, and avoid drinking coffee throughout the day. You can also try switching to a less acidic beverage, such as green tea, herbal tea, or water.
  • Drink water after coffee or rinse your mouth with water. Water can help neutralize the acidity of coffee and rinse away some of the tannins and bacteria from your teeth and tongue. Drink a glass of water after every cup of coffee or swish some water in your mouth for a few seconds.
  • Brush your teeth after coffee or chew sugar-free gum. Brushing your teeth after drinking coffee can help remove the stains and bacteria from your teeth and freshen your breath. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which strengthens your enamel and protects it from erosion. You can also use a whitening toothpaste that contains ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, which can help lighten the stains on your teeth. If you can’t brush your teeth right away, chew some sugar-free gum that stimulates saliva production and cleanses your mouth.
  • Use a straw or drink from a cup with a lid. A straw or a cup with a lid can help reduce the contact between coffee and your teeth, which can minimize the staining effect. However, be careful not to sip too hot or too cold drinks through a straw, as this can cause sensitivity or damage to your teeth.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and whitening. No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, you may still need professional help to remove stubborn stains and plaque from your teeth. Your dentist can perform a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth using special tools and products that can remove surface stains and tartar (hardened plaque). Your dentist can also perform a whitening treatment that can bleach your teeth and make them several shades lighter. There are different types of whitening treatments available, such as in-office bleaching, take-home trays, or whitening strips. Your dentist can recommend the best option for you based on your needs and preferences.


Coffee is a delicious and energizing drink, but it can also have negative effects on your oral health. Coffee can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, and damage your enamel. However, you don’t have to give up coffee completely to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. You can prevent or reverse the damage caused by coffee by following some simple tips, such as drinking less coffee or switching to a less acidic alternative, drinking water or rinsing your mouth after coffee, brushing your teeth or chewing gum after coffee, using a straw or a cup with a lid, and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and whitening.

For More Information, You may contact our office (Coastal Smiles Newport Beach).

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Newport Beach, CA, who can help you with keeping your smile white and bright, look no further than Coastal Smiles Dentistry. We offer a variety of dental services, including teeth whitening, veneers, implants, crowns, bridges, and more. We use the latest technology and techniques to ensure that you get the best results possible. Whether you need a simple cleaning or a complete smile makeover, we are here to help you achieve your dental goals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or visit our website for more information. We look forward to seeing you soon!