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Can You Drink Coffee With Braces

Can You Drink Coffee With Braces? All You Need to Know

by zilvinas.juraska

Getting braces can be an exciting time. You finally get to correct that crooked tooth or gap that’s been bothering you. However, once you have braces, you quickly realize that some of your favorite foods and drinks aren’t so easy to enjoy anymore. Coffee may be one of those things you worry about. Can you still drink coffee with braces? Let’s find out.

The Effects of Coffee on Braces

Coffee is acidic and can stain the brackets and bands on your braces. The acids in coffee can cause the metal on your braces to corrode over time. This damage is purely aesthetic though. So while your braces may start looking dingy and worn, the functionality should remain intact.

Staining and corrosion aren’t the only issues with drinking coffee with braces. The ground coffee beans can also get stuck in your braces, which can be annoying, uncomfortable, and hard to clean.

Despite these potential effects, orthodontists still say you can drink coffee with braces as long as you take the right precautions. Let’s go over some tips for enjoying your java without ruining your braces.

Tips for Drinking Coffee With Braces

Here are some suggestions for drinking coffee while wearing braces:

  • Rinse your mouth after drinking coffee. Swish water around your mouth to wash away any residual coffee and prevent staining.
  • Brush and floss after drinking coffee to remove any grounds stuck in your braces. Pay extra attention to the areas around the brackets.
  • Drink coffee quickly rather than sip it slowly over time. The less time the coffee spends on your teeth, the less chance for damage.
  • Use a straw when drinking hot coffee. Position the straw toward the back of your mouth to bypass your braces.
  • Drink iced coffee instead of hot coffee. The cold temperature makes it less likely to stain.
  • Opt for lighter roasts over dark roasts. Lighter roasts are less acidic, resulting in less corrosion potential.
  • Add dairy or nondairy creamer to coffee. This can coat the teeth and dilute the acids.
  • Rinse with water while drinking coffee to wash some of the acid away.
  • Avoid sugary coffee drinks like caramel macchiatos. The extra sugar could increase bacteria and tooth decay risk.
  • Wait 30 minutes after drinking coffee before brushing. This prevents the softened enamel from being damaged by aggressive brushing.
  • Get your braces and wires checked more frequently. Your orthodontist can spot any damage early and may recommend alternatives if needed.
  • Consider white brackets if allowed. They blend in better as they become discolored.
  • Use an over-the-counter whitening product for braces as needed. This can help remove some stains.
  • Drink coffee in moderation. Too much can lead to more damage.

Types of Coffee to Drink With Braces

Black coffee has the most staining and damaging potential due to its high acidity and lack of cream or milk to serve as a buffer. But there are some lower acid options to consider:

  • Cold brew – The long steeping of cold brew coffee reduces acidity.
  • Iced coffee – The milk/cream and ice help dilute the acids.
  • Milk-based coffee drinks – Lattes, macchiatos, and mochas contain milk which coats the teeth from the coffee’s effects. Opt for sugar-free versions.
  • Tea – Teas have lower acidity than coffee in general. But some herbal teas are acidic, so monitor pH.
  • Water – Okay, not actually coffee but it avoids any potential issues. Stay hydrated!

You’ll still need to take precautions when drinking these lower acid coffee alternatives. But they present less risk of negatively impacting your braces. Talk to your orthodontist if you have any concerns over the safety of your usual coffee order.

Coffee Alternatives to Protect Your Braces

If you don’t want to give up your coffee ritual but are worried about your braces, consider replacing it with a more braces-friendly beverage in the morning. Here are some energizing caffeine and coffee alternatives to get you through the day:

  • Green tea – Has less caffeine than coffee but enough for a slight energy boost. Plus it has health benefits.
  • Black tea – Slightly more caffeine than green tea. Try an English breakfast or chai tea.
  • Yerba mate – A South American herbal tea with caffeine kick. Can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  • Matcha – Powdered green tea that makes for a nutrient-packed latte.
  • Chicory coffee – Coffee alternative made from the roasted chicory root with a rich, coffee-like taste. Lower acidity than coffee.
  • Golden milk – Milk infused with turmeric and other spices. Both energizing and anti-inflammatory.
  • Protein shakes – Whip up a shake with coffee flavors but no staining culprits. Bonus – protein helps keeps you full.
  • Kombucha – Fermented tea with a little fizz and some caffeine. Just watch the sugar content.
  • Water – A glass of cold water is always a perfect way to start the day for your health and your braces!

Talk to your orthodontist before introducing any highly pigmented drinks like beet juice or blue algae coffee. But things like green tea, yerba mate, and golden milk should be A-OK.

Should You Give Up Coffee with Braces?

While coffee is not off the table when you have braces, you may want to decide if it’s worth reducing your intake to protect your investment. Here are some pros and cons of continuing to drink coffee with braces:


  • You can still enjoy your usual morning coffee ritual.
  • The taste and caffeine boost are hard to give up.
  • Following precautions can help minimize risks.
  • Orthodontists say moderate coffee intake is okay.
  • Staining and corrosion only impact appearance.


  • Acids and staining can damage brackets over time, requiring repairs.
  • You’ll need to be diligent with oral hygiene and rinsing when drinking coffee.
  • Dark liquids may be difficult to drink without visibility of staining.
  • If you drink a lot of coffee, you may exceed moderate intake.
  • You may want your bright, white braces to stay that way.

Take your orthodontist’s advice along with your own preferences into account. You can decide to give up coffee while you have braces, enjoy it in careful moderation, or switch to lighter coffee drinks or alternatives.


In the world of orthodontic treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene and making informed dietary choices are paramount. While wearing braces, you can still enjoy your beloved cup of coffee, but with a few modifications to protect your teeth, braces, and overall dental health. Moderation, careful consumption, diligent oral care, and professional guidance are the keys to striking the right balance between your caffeine fix and orthodontic journey. By following these tips, you can sip on your coffee without a worry, knowing that you’re taking the necessary steps to maintain your beautiful smile both during and after your braces experience.

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