Can You Drink Coffee With Braces? (Do’s & Don’ts)

Last Updated on April 22, 2022 by John Moretti

I wore braces twice for many years, and in all that time, I remember my biggest concern was always if my teeth were going to have two different colors when the braces came off. As a caffeine addict that can’t go without my morning cuppa, I always wondered, can you drink coffee with braces?   

Coffee does not need to be entirely cut out when you have braces. Avoid having too much coffee – limit yourself to one or two cups a day and preferably drink with a straw to prevent staining your teeth. If your teeth are sensitive after monthly adjustments, avoid hot or ice coffee for a few days.   

You can 100% still enjoy having your favorite coffee drinks when you have braces as long as you take steps to avoid causing more sensitivity and ensure you do what is needed to prevent staining those pearly whites. We discuss it all in detail below.   

Photo of a smiling woman showing her braced teeth

Can You Have Coffee With Braces?   

Orthodontists, general dentists, and the internet will generally recommend that you avoid drinking coffee when you have braces done. They are looking out for you because coffee can either cause sensitivity or trigger pain to already sensitive teeth from the movement.  

Another reason you are told to avoid coffee is that it is known to stain teeth over time. But there are ways which we will discuss later to avoid that from happening. It is always best to stay away from something that might cause you problems with your oral health, especially if you have braces. However, if you absolutely need to drink coffee, you should limit it to 1-2 cups a day.  

Is Cold or Hot Coffee Better When You Have Braces?   

Photo of two hands holding a cup of coffee

When wearing braces, extremely hot and icy cold beverages are best if avoided. There comes the point where you can manage to drink them without feeling like your teeth are going to fall out from sensitivity, but those moments are rare and mostly towards the end of your braces journey.  

You also have to figure out what triggers you more, some people have a bigger issue with hot temperature drinks, and others can’t even look at a cold drink without feeling pain. If you can survive one of them, do what works for you. On that note, you will find that cold drinks do tend to affect people more than hot beverages.   

If you cannot avoid a certain temperature of your coffee when wearing braces, use a straw for drinking. That way, you can prevent it from touching your teeth as much as possible and still enjoy your cup of survival for the day.  

How to Enjoy Coffee With Braces?   

Remember we said we would discuss how you can enjoy drinking coffee when you have braces? Well, here we are. A few steps to drinking coffee with braces:  

  • Use a straw: We have raved about this already, but using a straw helps avoid sensitivities and prevent staining.  
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: There’s nothing like a steaming cup of coffee if you love a hot beverage. You enjoy a delicious, sweet, iced coffee if you like me. But extreme temperatures can cause more teeth sensitivities with braces.  
  • Limit coffee intake: Drinking only 1 cup of coffee a day is best when you have braces because it reduces the possible stains and teeth maintenance.  
  • Avoid black coffee: Adding milk to your coffee helps to reduce the effect of tannins and reduces stains.  
  • Reduce sugar: Less sugar or sweetener in your drink will help prevent the coffee from sticking to your teeth, causing damage and staining the enamel.  
  • Improve oral hygiene: Rinsing your mouth and brushing after drinking coffee is vital. That can prevent damage to your teeth and any stain buildup around the braces that will cause discoloration and uneven shades later.  
  • Go for professional cleaning: No matter how much and how well you clean your teeth, only a dentist can thoroughly deep clean them.   

Why Does Coffee Stain Your Teeth With Braces?

Braces are stuck to a portion of your teeth with dental bonding. That portion of your teeth is not affected when you eat and drink. The open parts of your pearly whites take all the impact when you sip on your daily dose of caffeine, and over time it stains.  

When your braces journey is over and you have them removed, your teeth can look discolored and uneven in color. The parts with bracing bonding will be brighter than the surrounding, and it can look almost dirty – like you haven’t brushed your teeth.  

If you wonder how and why coffee stains your teeth, it is due to the tannins in coffee responsible for the discoloration. It is also what often stains the elastic you have around your braces. If you have darker color elastics, you will not notice any change. If you have light shades of elastic colors, they will change color. All my light blues and pinks always turned yellow!  

Does Coffee Cause Teeth Sensitivity With Braces?

Hot beverages and iced drinks can often cause sensitivities, especially in the first few months after the braces installation and the first few days after each month’s adjustments. That happens because it is the peak of movement for your teeth, so the gums also become sensitive.

Someone who has been through braces will tell you that opening your mouth can be painful. Imagine having something cold or hot hit that sensitivity – it can be excruciatingly painful.  

If you do have coffee at the specified times, it is best to have warm or room temperature coffee and drink it with a straw to prevent it from touching your teeth and gums as much as possible.  

Conclusion   

You don’t have to give up on coffee when you start wearing braces. It is recommended that you limit yourself to a couple of cups a day and try to drink with a straw to avoid staining your teeth which can cause uneven tone when the braces are removed.

Also, avoid drinking the coffee too hot or iced if you’ve had an adjustment done because of sensitivity.