Can You Drink Coffee With Braces? (Why It’s Not A Good Idea)

Drinking coffee can stain your teeth, and, unfortunately, it can harm your orthodontic braces too. If you drink hot coffee or other coffee beverages then it's important to know how it's going to impact your brace and your teeth or you may be undoing all your good work.

In this article we'll show you how coffee drinks can impact each type of brace, and what you need to be doing so you can enjoy your morning coffee routine guilt free.

Orthodontic treatments use two different kinds of orthodontic appliances:

  1. Invisalign braces (clear braces)
  2. Traditional metal braces (or ceramic)

Coffee lovers who want to drink coffee with braces will have different options depending on which they wear.  

Here's a quick breakdown:

1. Invisalign (Clear Braces) 

Invisalign trays, or clear braces, aren't fixed onto your teeth permanently. They can typically be removed and replaced easily, which makes eating and drinking all food a lot easier. 

Drinking hot beverages like coffee, tea, or soup with the Invisalign trays in your mouth is not advisable. This is because Invisalign aligners are made of plastic, and heat can warp them - impacting your treatment.

Coffee can also stain your clear braces. If they are stained, it defeats the purpose of them being invisible. If appropriately maintained, Invisalign aligners will remain hidden to the naked eye.  

However, those with Invisalign braces can drink coffee safely as long as they remove it first and replace it afterwards. 

If you can't remove your Invisalign clear braces but want to drink coffee then you should stick to drinking iced coffee while wearing braces. This may stain your brace, but should ensure the Invisalign trays remain tight. 

2. Traditional Braces 

Traditional braces are typically made from traditional metal or ceramic. They tend to be fixed to your teeth so you don't have the option of removing them - but drinking coffee is still possible. 

Ceramic braces won't stain as they were designed to resist any kind of discoloration. However, the rubber bands on the brace can stain over time. 

Metal braces can stain if you drink coffee or other dark colored beverages regularly. 

You can drink coffee when wearing traditional braces but you should brush your teeth right away afterwards. Also, try to drink coffee and other dark colored beverage options through a straw to avoid any staining. 

dental braces on young kid

I’m A Coffee Lover But Have Braces: What Should I Do? 

If coffee has been a significant part of your morning habit, giving it up to protect your teeth can be challenging. Even if you know that it will harm your braces, it's hard to go cold turkey and you might still try to squeeze in a cup or two once in a while. 

However, that shouldn’t be the case. Here are some tips that can help you maintain your braces and ensure you get that straight smile, even if you're still drinking coffee.  

Add Milk To Your Coffee 

The color of your coffee affects how it could stain your braces and teeth. Adding milk to your hot coffee drink will lighten the color of the black coffee and give your teeth some protection from the staining acids of the coffee.  

Try Using A Straw 

Coffee won’t stain your braces or teeth if it does not directly touch them. So try to drink coffee using a straw and you should be able to enjoy your beverage and keep coffee away from your teeth.  

Drink Coffee With Less Caffeine 

Caffeine is probably the whole reason why coffee is part of your morning routine. However, the amount of caffeine in your coffee dictates the staining effect the drink will have on your teeth.

This means that the less caffeine a drink has, the less likely it will stain your teeth and harm your braces. Try drinking decaf coffee or coffee drinks that have less caffeine than a regular brewed coffee has. This won't give you the same daily caffeine fix, but will allow you to enjoy coffee without the negative effect on your braces.  

Brush Your Teeth After Drinking Coffee 

Apart from the coffee that touches your teeth when drinking it, the remaining coffee that sticks to them can permanently stain your teeth.

This is why if you can’t resist the urge to drink coffee while you wear braces, make sure to brush your teeth right away to remove any coffee residue on them. You can do so by always bringing a toothbrush with you wherever you go. It's also a good idea to mouthwash immediately if possible to maintain that beautiful smile.

woman drinking coffee

Other Beverages That Should Be Avoided When You Have Braces 

Apart from coffee, most dentists recommend you steer away from any dark-colored beverages and sugary drinks to keep your teeth healthy, especially if you wear traditional braces or Invisaligns.

Here are some of them:  

  • Tea 
    Tea and iced tea, like coffee, is highly pigmented so it can stain not only the clear elastic bands or brackets of your braces but also your teeth. The stains can deposit minerals into your teeth which can lead to decay. However, if you can’t give up drinking tea, try drinking iced tea instead, so you can easily sip it with a straw or drink hot tea with a straw. You can also brush your teeth right away after drinking them to remove any residue.  
  • Soda 
    Soda is considered one of the unhealthiest drinks and shouldn’t be consumed often, even if you’re not wearing braces. This drink contains acid that can break down your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. If you choose to drink soda while on braces, always drink it with a straw and rinse your mouth with water right after you finish drinking it.  
  • Red Wine
    Red wine, like coffee, can give you stained teeth. This is because red wine contains natural dyes, tannin, and acids, which will leave a mark on both your teeth and your brace. If you do drink red wine you should keep your teeth clean by brushing straight after. 
  • Sports Drink 
    Sports drinks have high levels of sugar content. For example, fruit juices found in sports drinks are naturally acidic and rich in sucrose. Both of these ingredients can weaken the tooth structure and can also lead to decay. You should also avoid drinking lemon-flavored sports drinks as they can dissolve the surface of your enamel, especially when the acids are always in contact with your teeth.  
soda with ice

Common Questions About Coffee With Braces

What can I drink with braces? 

Milk and water are the safest beverages you can drink while wearing braces. Colored drinks, especially dark ones, should be avoided if you can.  

Can you have hot drinks with braces? 

Yes, you can drink hot beverages with your traditional braces, like metal and ceramic braces. However, if you’re wearing Invisalign, make sure to remove the trays before drinking hot beverages to maintain their shape.  

Is iced coffee OK with braces? 

Drinking iced coffee is OK if you're wearing braces. If you can, drink it with a straw to protect your teeth from coffee stains.  

Can I drink milk coffee with braces? 

Yes, you can. Adding milk to your coffee can lighten its color, reducing the chances of it staining your teeth and braces.  


Conclusion

While drinking coffee with braces isn’t prohibited, it is best to keep drinking it at a minimum to protect your teeth and braces from any damage. 

This will help you achieve your dental goals and will get you the best result your orthodontic treatment can offer. 

However, if you can’t avoid them, make sure to keep your teeth and braces well-maintained by the tips we shared above.