Now that September is here, the people of Dallas will finally get some cooler weather. With the fall season comes all of your favorite warm beverages. Pumpkin spice lattes, peppermint mochas, hot cocoa, and many other holiday favorites are simply delicious. But how do these hot drinks affect your teeth? Are these holiday beverages worse for your smile than regular coffee? Keep reading to find out the answer!
Coffee, tea, and other hot, dark liquids have the potential to stain your teeth. Green tea and herbal tea have less potential to stain your smile because of their color, but most of these beverages can cause discoloration resistant to brushing. That said, staying on top of a good oral health routine, seeing your dentist regularly, and avoiding heavy consumption of these drinks are great steps you can take to protect your teeth. Fortunately, a lot of seasonal coffees are actually lighter in color, which can help with staining. However, these sugary beverages come with their own set of risks.
Do you take sugar in your coffee? If so, you’re putting your teeth at risk of tooth decay. That’s why seasonal beverages with caramel, pumpkin spice, cookies, peppermint, and more are incredibly bad for your teeth. The sugar in these beverages interact with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid, which eventually leads to decay and cavities. In fact, because you’re drinking this sugary beverage without a straw, the liquid has an opportunity to coat your entire smile, allowing for higher chances of decay.
How Can I Enjoy the Season While Protecting My Smile?
Thankfully, you can still be festive without hurting your teeth! Whenever possible, drink flavored iced coffee instead of hot, so you can use a straw. While you may be craving something warm during the cooler months, using a straw can protect your teeth from unnecessary contact with the sugary liquid. Another pro tip is to drink water after you’ve had your coffee or cocoa. Water washes away excess sugar, debris, and bacteria, helping to keep your teeth clean in between brushing.
Use these tips to avoid staining and decay during the cooler months. Warm beverages are a fall staple that aren’t going away anytime soon. It’s okay to indulge here and there, but it’s also important to know some proper precautions to take for healthy teeth.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Drew Vanderbrook received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at Baylor College of Dentistry, and he stays up to date on the latest in the field through continued learning and training. He believes in patient education, which is why he wants you to know some of the hidden risks you’re taking when diving into your favorite pumpkin spice latte. If you have any questions, he can be reached through his website or by phone at (214) 821-5200.