The idea that drinking coffee while wearing traditional braces causes damage to the metal appliance is nothing more than a myth.
People can drink coffee while wearing braces, but it’s important to remember that coffee contains acids that can damage your teeth.
The consumption of coffee while wearing braces is safe for the braces itself. When done in moderation, it’s also perfectly healthy for your teeth.
However, that doesn’t mean you should spend all day sipping your favorite latte. You need to be prepared to maintain your braces with regular orthodontist visits.
It’s also important to know how to properly take care of your teeth. If you don’t, the result could be permanent staining and eventual decay.
Let’s cover a few of the basics regarding drinking coffee with braces. The more you know, the better you’ll feel about your morning cup of joe.
Many people wear braces during childhood and as teenagers. However, 25% of people with braces in the U.S. are adults. They’re more likely to be the ones drinking coffee.
If that’s you, one of the most important factors to consider is how long you’ll be wearing braces.
Are you going to have them on for about a year? Chances are, you can drink coffee without it being harmful to your teeth.
Your morning cup isn’t going to do any damage if you maintain a healthy oral routine.
Wearing braces for an extended period and drinking coffee could lead to dental problems in the future, including
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Increased risk of cavities
- Tooth sensitivity from eroded enamel
Consuming coffee, whether hot or cold, may lead to issues with your gums and teeth.
Staining and discoloration are associated with the consumption of coffee, due to the acids that are in the beverage.
UtoDent.com states that drinking hot coffee once or twice a week will not affect your braces too much.
However, you must regularly brush your teeth and rinse them to minimize staining while you have traditional metal braces on.
For those who enjoy a nice cup of iced coffee, you have a better chance of keeping your teeth clean with their braces on.
The key to preventing the staining of your teeth while drinking coffee is using a straw. Straws are more likely to be used when drinking iced coffee as opposed to hot coffee.
Cold coffee has several benefits. It contains less polyphenol and 70% fewer acids than hot coffee. The lower levels of polyphenols cause fewer stains on the teeth, especially when you have braces on, and remember to drink using a straw.
As a bonus, if you have a sensitive stomach, cold brew is easier on your digestive system!
According to Nutrition Advance, Polyphenols are the chemicals that give plant-based foods their color.
These dark colors are the pigments in brewed coffee beans that can stain your teeth if you are someone who consumes a lot of coffee.
While wearing traditional metal or ceramic braces, your teeth and the brackets can become stained depending on your level of coffee consumption.
Many dental professionals and orthodontists have insisted that if coffee can’t be cut out of your daily life, it’s better to have it iced instead.
Avoiding Coffee Stains On Your Braces
When you have braces on, you’ll want to brush your teeth more often than normal. Food and drinks can get stuck in the metal brackets, causing your teeth to stain.
If you want to avoid staining your teeth over time, there are a few ways to prevent that.
- Swishing water in your mouth after you drink coffee to get rid of excess staining on your teeth.
- Swishing mouthwash after eating or drinking.
- Flossing your teeth regularly.
- Using straws whenever drinking beverages – especially iced coffee.
You might be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after having a cup of coffee.
Try to resist that urge. Because of the drink’s acidity, brushing immediately after drinking can further damage your enamel.
Try to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to neutralize the acidity left behind.
Different appliances are available by orthodontists depending on your needs.
The type of braces you choose will make a difference in how you should care for your teeth after drinking coffee. Some are easier than others to maintain and care for daily.
Let’s cover a few different types of braces. What roles do they play when it comes to your coffee consumption?
Invisalign braces are easily removable teeth aligners. They’re probably the easiest for drinking coffee – or eating just about anything.
For those who drink coffee every day, these clear braces can be taken out when you’re having your morning joe.
However, it’s important to remember that you should never drink hot coffee with them on!
These aligners are only made of plastic, so hot beverages will essentially melt them.
The plastic can also shift due to melting, which would change how your teeth are adjusted while wearing the Invisalign aligners.
Iced coffee can be enjoyed while keeping your Invisalign aligners in, especially if you are using a straw.
Keeping hot and dark-colored beverages to a minimum when you have your aligns in is more beneficial to the plastic material.
Traditional metal or ceramic braces rely on more maintenance to care for the materials used.
Ceramic braces are made to resist discoloration over time. If you’ll be wearing your braces for a longer period, ceramic may be a better choice. That’s especially true if you’ll be drinking coffee daily.
While the brackets won’t stain, the clear elastic bands are more susceptible to staining and discoloration from dark beverages.
Maintenance for traditional metal or ceramic braces is needed to maintain the look of the braces.
For someone who puts a lot of sugar in their coffee, this could be problematic for your metal braces.
The sugar that sticks to your braces should cause you to brush your teeth and clean your braces more than usual.
While adding milk and sugar to coffee is a fairly common way to drink a hot or cold beverage, it’s better to reduce the amount of sugar that you put on your teeth.
Using a straw is once again an easy fix. The sugar won’t touch your teeth as much!
Many people will add milk to their coffee to lighten the color. The dark black color of coffee is the main reason why your teeth get stained.
The color and the acids are the main teeth-staining culprits, not the cream or milk you add. However, you should clean your teeth after consuming milk to avoid tooth decay.
So, now that you know you can still make your perfect cup, what can you do to prevent staining while wearing braces?
First, try drinking coffee with less caffeine. The amount of caffeine in your coffee is directly correlated to the stain of your teeth and potential harm to your braces over time.
Remember to brush your teeth, floss, and use mouth wash whenever possible after drinking hot coffee (but wait at least 30 minutes!).
Drinking coffee doesn’t need to be taken out of your daily routine. If you’re someone who enjoys drinking coffee – whether hot or iced – you’re still able to enjoy those beverages while you have braces on.
Keep these suggestions in mind if you’re an avid coffee drinker. By playing it safe, your teeth will be stain-free when it’s time to remove your braces.
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