Battistoni and Beam’s Verdict on Iced Coffee and Orthodontics

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Oak Park, IL — Summer’s favorite beverage is refreshing, delicious, and highly customizable. As more and more people, including working adults, are wearing braces, Invisalign trays, and other orthodontics–the question arises— is it safe for the teeth?

What is the Big Deal?

Regular brewed coffee has gotten a bad reputation that makes it a beverage to consume with care for those with orthodontics and without. Firstly, it has a staining effect, which can make one’s teeth take on a yellow or even brownish appearance over time. For those without orthodontics, this is merely a nuisance. However, those with clear braces and Invisalign trays can have their dental devices discolored by it.

Coffee is also quite acidic, which weakens the enamel–just like sugar or citrus does–causing cavities and decay. Dentists have been recommending that people take their hot mug of joe through a straw, though that is far from practical with a steaming beverage. Drs. Battistoni and Beam say that iced coffee actually has several advantages over traditional drip or pour-over brew that make it much safer for teeth and orthodontic devices.

Cold Brew Coffee vs. Other Extraction Methods

Cold brew coffee has less polyphenol content than traditional brews. This is because it is extracted slowly through time in cool water, as opposed to being quickly blasted with hot water for the extraction process to occur. This coffee has less acids and polyphenols. Polyphenols are great for binding free-radicals, and helping detoxify the system. However, these are also the substances that help berries, wine, and coffee stain as they do. Cold brewed coffee has many less of these than regular. It also has a very smooth taste due to this quality.

Less Surface Area Exposure: Straws

Because the vast majority of people imbibe their iced coffee through a straw, it automatically bypasses their teeth, braces or aligners. This preserves the teeth and orthodontics from any acid present in the coffee, the discoloring effects of the coffee, and the cold (which tends to make teeth more sensitive). Hot coffee, on the other hand, bathes the mouth with these undesirable things.

Tips for Enjoying Your Iced Coffee with Minimum Dental Effects

  • Avoid large amounts of sugar or syrup, opting instead of plain brews, with perhaps some dairy or almond/coconut cream added. This will decrease chances for cavities to form.
  • Try not to overdo on the caffeine, as dehydration causes protective saliva to dry up, exposing teeth to various dangers. Try decaf, skip the nitro-brew, and drink water after your beverage.
  • Do not chew on the ice after finishing your beverage. This can make the nerves in your teeth very sensitive and painful. For braces wearers, it can cause the same kind of damage that crunchy foods cause.

For the best orthodontic care in the Chicago suburbs, call Battistoni and Beam at (708)352-4500 for La Grange, or (708)848-5900 for Oak Park.

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