Can Hot Drinks Damage Your Teeth?

Mar 26 2021

Many people like to begin their day with a hot cup of tea or coffee, but many stop short of thinking about whether hot drinks can damage your teeth. Well, below will give you the answer you’ve been looking for.

During your check-up appointments, the dentist will have more than likely recommended a balanced lifestyle comprising of a healthy diet so that your enamel comprises the right minerals and nutrients for a stronger smile. Unfortunately, the dentist wouldn’t recommend hot drinks as part of this lifestyle.

a lady holding a cup of coffee

So, is it true that hot drinks can damage your teeth and oral health? Let’s find out.

Most hot drinks, especially coffee contain a substance called tannins. These tannins are pigmented, meaning that hot drinks can easily stain teeth, causing discolouration and damaging confidence in your smile. Tannins are considered colouring properties, where once the hot drink is sipped through the mouth and touches the teeth, you can expect staining to begin. Expect your teeth to show signs of yellow as the tannins soften the enamel, and your enamel is the protective layer on the front surface of your teeth that protects your smile from harmful substances. The enamel is the hardest substance in the body, and the tannins in hot drinks will soften it.

Hot Drinks Can Increase Tooth Sensitivity…

Alongside staining your enamel, a hot drink can also cause something that’s known as micro-cracks in the enamel. This usually happens when you consume a hot drink after returning from the cold. This causes increased sensitivity and temporary throbbing pain when you consume a hot drink.

You’re At Risk Of Tooth Decay…

If you drink black coffee or tea, meaning no sugar or milk, then you’re at lesser risk of tooth decay. Mixing sugar into it will increase the chances of tooth decay. Sugar leaves a damaging effect on teeth and raises harmful bacteria that penetrate inside your mouth along with plaque build-up. This especially happens if you have a hot drink with sugar and do not brush your teeth regularly.

an image of coffee

Tips To Move Forward With…

If you’re a regular hot drinker, the first recommendation is to reduce the amount you consume if possible. Doing this will produce instant benefits to your oral health. Here are some other tips to move forward with:

  • Consider replacing hot drinks with green or herbal tea
  • Drink your hot drink through a straw so your teeth do not come in contact
  • Regularly consume water when you can. Water can wash away any loose stains on your teeth and prevent them from settling on your tooth enamel. This also keeps your mouth hydrated by keeping your saliva levels moist.
  • Regularly brush your teeth twice a day

The best recommendation is to avoid hot drinks altogether. Or alternatively, drink them in moderation but using a straw because your teeth will avoid the tannin properties that cause tooth staining.

Are you concerned about how hot drinks can damage your teeth? Are you worried about damaging your oral health? Our Springvale dentists are more than happy to help you transform your diet and oral health for a stronger smile. Click here to check yourself in with us today!