Is Black Coffee Worse For Your Teeth Than Milk Coffee?

Share this article:

Yes, black coffee is definitely worse for your teeth when compared with milk coffee. In fact, adding milk to your coffee is recommended to protect your teeth from coffee stains. The easiest way to get rid of stains would be to buy and use teeth-whitening toothpaste daily. Too much black coffee can trigger GERD disease by acid reflux and several other negative side effects.

That morning cup of coffee is the one thing that helps us all get ready for a new day. That small cup of coffee may contain obvious benefits, like giving you a surge of motivation, but it does leave you with a slightly sticky feeling in your teeth.

Maybe you unwillingly resort to milk coffee as it doesn’t leave a nasty yellow stain behind. After all, no one wants to worry about the color of their teeth when having a conversation with a friend.

Is black coffee worse for your teeth than milk coffee? How does black coffee affect your teeth badly? How can the effect of milk coffee differ from black? How can I get rid of stains, and how can I prevent them? What can too much black coffee do to you?

How does black coffee affect your teeth?

A young woman is working in a cafe and drinking black coffee.

Coffee contains something called “tannins,” which is common in plant-based food. Tannins can make color composites stick to your teeth.

So, by sticking on your teeth, the color of the coffee will sadly leave an unpleasant yellow stain if you don’t clean your teeth after drinking coffee.

This also might not be the only way that coffee can harm your teeth. Black coffee is a very acidic drink, and drinking a lot of it can cause enamel erosion in the long term, making your teeth brittle.

Mind you, it’s not the stains that cause this erosion but the acidity of the coffee that weakens your tooth enamel.

The enamel must protect your teeth against decay and tooth sensitivity, so once the protection is eroded, you can imagine the consequences.

In a 2014 study of beverages causing erosion, black coffee turned out to be the most erosive among the hot beverages.

How does the effect of milk coffee on teeth differ?

Milk coffee is said to lighten the effects of strong black coffee, and it’s better shown in the below table.

Black coffee affectEffect of adding milk to the Coffee
Stains TeethReduces the high pH level in black coffee and, in turn lowers its acidity.
Erodes EnamelReduces the high pH level in black coffee and, in turn, lowers its acidity.

Is black coffee all bad?

A young woman is sitting on her sofa at home, reading a book, and drinking black coffee.

Just because black coffee may have long-term harmful effects on your teeth (which can be remedied) does not mean that it’s all bad. In fact, it wins over milk coffee in many aspects.

  1. Zero calories – If you’re concerned about losing calories and staying fit, black coffee plays an important role. Black coffee has an absolute zero calorie count, so you don’t have to worry about adding it to your calorie intake list. However, if you add milk and sugar, that’s when the calories start to increase.
  2. Healthy liver – That regular cup of black coffee that you drink prevents cancer, hepatitis, and other liver-related diseases.
  3. Cleanses stomach – Coffee gets rid of toxins from your body through urination.
  4. Improves memory – Black coffee helps to keep your nerves active and, by doing so, improves your brain function.  

How can I get rid of coffee stains, and how do I prevent stains?

So, if coffee stains are the main reason you’re laying off black coffee, you can simply try getting rid of the stains and practice helpful habits in preventing it from happening in the first place.

Getting rid of stainsPreventing stains
Brush your teeth effectively – At least 2 times a day; you need to carefully brush your teeth, making sure you reach all the cracks and crevices. Using a whitening toothpaste will help, as proven by a 2018 study. Adding Milk – Its neutralizing effect prevents the tooth enamel from getting damaged.
Baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda along with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Make sure you rinse your mouth well with water after brushing with this paste.Lemon, Orange, and Banana peels – A 2017 study proves the power of citric acid extracts from 4 different kinds of orange peels as teeth whiteners.
Lemon, Orange and Banana peels – A 2017 study proves the power of citric acid extracts from 4 different kinds of orange peels as teeth whiteners.Oral hygiene – Brushing and flossing daily will help keep your teeth protected from stains.
Activated charcoal – Charcoal is highly absorbent and can get rid of bacteria and toxins in your mouth, which in turn can remove stains from your teeth.A glass of water – Drinking a glass of water right after your coffee will help wash out the stains.

What can too much black coffee do to you?

A young man is working at the office, overwhelmed with the amount of work, and is drinking too much coffee in one day.

The best way that you can remedy the after-effects of coffee on your teeth is by limiting the amount of black coffee intake per day.

If you get too addicted it can only end up badly. The European Food Safety Authority advises an average person to take in a maximum of 400mg of caffeine per day, which is about 2 to 4 cups of coffee, depending on its strength.

So, what happens when you overdo it?

Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing because it is an addictive ingredient. So, at some point, if you do try to quit, it can lead to symptoms like headaches, mood swings, nausea, and fatigue.

The acidic quality of caffeine will cause your stomach to hurt because of the constant secretion of stomach acids.

This can be a risky situation if the acid reaches the esophagus because it can end up with GERD; known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Another possibility of over-drinking coffee is heart palpitations, which make your heart race ending up in dizziness and even fainting spells. Apart from these, insomnia, headaches, jitters, and diarrhea is also to be expected.

So, it’s better to maybe switch from black to milk coffee instead of relying entirely on black coffee way too much. Or maybe just cut down on coffee and reach out for a few alternatives.


If none of the remedies seem to work and your coffee aftermath seems to be getting worse, the best way to handle it would be to check in with your local dentist.

There is another option, laser teeth whitening, which is extremely effective when it comes to removing stains and any kind of discoloration of the teeth. You can also resort to coffee alternatives like golden milk, tea, and coconut water.

The bottom line is that while milk coffee is the better choice for your teeth than black coffee, that doesn’t mean you should wholly give up on your black coffee as long as treatment and prevention options remain.

The only thing that you do need to be aware of is avoiding too much coffee intake, as too much of anything can be bad.

Share this article:

Was this article helpful?
Kavisha Rodrigo
I'm a sports person that enjoys researching into pushing the limitations of the human body. When it comes to health, I'm a big fan of working out and staying healthy. For hobbies, I'm a big fan of Pokemon and Coldplay.

We’re proud to be a team of writers who are truly passionate about all things health.

Coming together from all parts of the world, we share a common goal of helping serve many with our comprehensive research and clear writing style. Learn more.

Nutrition & Diet