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Coffee drinkers should delight to know that, in general, coffee is not bad for teeth. It certainly stains teeth, and coffee users tend to have yellower teeth as a result. It is acidic, but far less so than sodas and even juices. What people put in their coffee, however, is another matter, and these things can be bad for the teeth.
It’s Not Coffee Ruining Your Teeth
The number one item ending up in coffee is sugar. One lump or two? According to CBS News, a popular coffee chain adds anywhere from eleven to eighteen “lumps” of sugar to their popular coffee drinks! All that sugar comes from options like chocolate, flavored syrups and whipped cream. That is a big sugar load and is potentially detrimental to oral health.
Calculating Your Sugar Load
Before you buy a coffee drink, ask to see the ingredients list, as all restaurants and cafes make such lists available. A cube of sugar is approximately four grams, the same as one teaspoon. Items bought for sale in a store, such as bottled or canned coffee drinks, have their sugar information on the ingredients label. Look for the grams of sugar and divide by 4 to get your “lumps” of sugar.
Sugar is so destructive because it feeds the oral bacteria that cause cavities. Sugar attaches to teeth very well on its own, but throw in sticky syrups and creams and it affixes itself to enamel even better. Sipping such drinks throughout the day, not just at lunch or breakfast, guarantees that your teeth are bathed in staining substances that promote decay.
Suddenly, the Americano, black, is sounding pretty healthy. Or perhaps just a glass of water?