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Many people love to wake up to a steaming cup of coffee or enjoy a latte in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. Coffee isn’t just a comforting hot drink; it’s actually been proven to have numerous health benefits. Yet how we take our coffee and how often we drink it can actually undermine its positive aspects. Those who enjoy milk and sugar may experience greater incidence of cavities. The sugars from milk or cream or sugar itself sit on the teeth and slowly cause decay. For those who enjoy sipping coffee throughout the day, their teeth are potentially the most compromised because the acid produced by normal bacteria of the mouth and sugar can over time cause the teeth to demineralize and weaken. Their teeth also may take on a yellow hue from the coffee as the teeth don’t have enough time to remineralize.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a daily cup of Joe, but we can do a few things to minimize its effect on our teeth. Reducing the amount of sugar, drinking the coffee quickly rather than sipping it throughout the day, and rinsing the mouth with water afterward can reduce the damage caused by the drink as well as prevent staining to the enamel.