Diet and Oral Health

Hot Drinks & Their Negative Effects

Hot drinks are popular year round. So just because winter has finally transitioned into spring doesn’t mean that suddenly coffee or hot tea isn’t still as popular as it was a few months ago.

There’s something about both of these (ahem, caffeine) that gets us going in the morning. We practically make daily routines based around coffee and hot tea anymore in our culture.

But as much as we love our hot drinks during the all times of the year, our dental health can suffer from drinking too many of these drinks. Be mindful of these risks as you continue to consume your coffee like it’s going out of style.

They can damage your teeth

Did you know that coffee doesn’t hardly affect your teeth for the worse whatsoever? The antioxidants in black coffee can actually help protect your teeth and ward off other things like gum disease. But all that goes out that window once you start adding sugars to your coffee. The main reason this is so bad is because coffee tends to stick to your teeth because some of its staining particles, which allows other sugar in the coffee to stick to your teeth as well. This, as you may have guessed, is the perfect recipe for plaque. Other hot drinks like cider and hot chocolate pretty much have sugars you can’t get rid of in them, so they’re just as bad.


This is probably the most well known negative quality about coffee and tea. Both contain things called tannins, which are responsible for sticking to your teeth and allowing the color to transfer over. Coffee will stain over time no matter if it’s black coffee you drink or sugared up macchiatos and all that jazz. Tea, however, is dependent on the type of tea. Green tea and other herbal teas actually are far less likely to stain compared to your regular ole black teas.

Preventing these downsides

If you have water after drinking your tea or coffee in the morning (or afternoon), you’re able to cleanse your teeth of a lot of the unhealthy sugars and tannins that can be sticking to your teeth. Of course, brushing will only further get rid of those things too.

Overall, don’t let these qualities hold you back from drinking your favorite hot drinks. You just want to be cognizant of some of the risks that hot drinks have and keep up with your dental hygiene routine.