We’ve all seen the movie about the cheeky British spy with bad teeth. Sure he’s hilarious but if your teeth looked like that it would be no laughing matter. And if they did you could just get them whitened right?
For coffee lover’s, teeth whitening is a cosmetic solution, but it’s own set of problems if overdone. Frequent tooth whitening can cause issues ranging from tooth sensitivity and discoloration, leaving teeth looking grey or bluish in color, to actual tissue damage, which can require more drastic dental procedures to include root canals.
Tooth whitening aside, there is a dark side to coffee too due to high levels of acids which can lead to acid wear, which can be a serious dental problem that goes far beyond cosmetics.
So what’s a coffee lover to do? Every cup of coffee contains a substance called tannic acid, also found in tea and other beverages, which can stain or damage tooth enamel if consumed frequently. Tannic acid is found in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea. Over time, the tannic acid can get in the grooves of the teeth, or around fillings, leaving people with what dentists call “cappuccino teeth.”
There are a couple of solutions; you can avoid beverages like coffee (what’s the fun in that?), drink coffee through a straw (careful of the really hot stuff or you’ll be making a trip to the doctor, not the dentist), or you can drink coffee that’s low in tannic acid and more smile friendly.
Since there are many ways to brew coffee ranging from drip, single serve, espresso, and cold brew to name a few it's important to select the brew method that produces the lowest levels of tannic acids if you're concerned about your smile.
Cold brew coffee naturally contains far lower levels of tannic acid many hot brew methods. Remember cold brewing is the brew method and not how you have to drink the coffee. Cold brewing produces a concentrated coffee extract that can be used to make both hot and iced drinks so don't let the name fool you. The reality is though with cold brewing, since no heat is used to brew the levels of acid stay low.
So give cold brewing a try and make a delicious cappuccino instead of having “cappuccino teeth”!
Learn more about the acids in various brew methods based on lab tests.
For more info on some of the problems of over-bleaching teeth visit the links below.
Thirsty for more cold brew info?