Are Hot Drinks Bad For Your Teeth?

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Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

When consumed frequently and in high quantities, hot drinks can be harmful to your teeth. Hot drinks soften your tooth enamel, thereby exposing it to the acids that cause cavities and further enamel deterioration. Drinking hot beverages in moderation and practicing good oral hygiene helps reduce the potentially harmful effects. 

When consumed in excess, hot drinks can have adverse effects on your teeth, since they soften the enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable to decay. Many hot drinks also cause staining. Reducing the intake of hot drinks, drinking through a straw, and opting for lighter-colored beverages can help.

Replacing hot drinks such as coffee with green or white tea can also help your teeth due to the antioxidants present in them. Milk is also another source of Vitamin D which helps repair and strengthen your teeth enamel. Combining any or all of these drinks with quality oral hygiene can help protect your teeth over time.

Are Hot Drinks Bad For Your Teeth?

Beautiful woman holding a cup of coffee in a restaurant

Warm drinks can be among the most comforting and soothing pleasures out there. However, if consumed regularly, warm drinks can soften your enamel which means it speeds up the deterioration process of your enamel as well. 

If your hot drinks have sugar or milk content, the harmful effects increase because the sugar and milk react with the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids that damage the enamel. With that, said, hot drinks should be consumed in moderate quantities to keep your oral hygiene healthy. 

Another method of preventing the softening of your enamel is drinking these hot beverages using a straw, while the experience may not be the same it will certainly help extend the life of your enamel.

Alongside that, you can also drink plain water as you consume your hot beverage, the water will also help prevent the deterioration of your teeth enamel. However, you should avoid ice water while drinking a hot beverage because the drastic change in temperature is not good for the enamel.

Why Are Hot Drinks Bad For Teeth? 

From softening your tooth enamel to staining your teeth, hot drinks can indeed have some adverse effects on your teeth and your overall oral hygiene. 

Tooth Decay

The first and more adverse effect of consuming hot drinks is the decay of your tooth and its enamel. The heat can cause the enamel of your teeth to soften up over time which makes it more vulnerable to come into contact with the harmful acids that may be produced by bacteria in your mouth. 

Furthermore, if you’re coming in from outside where it was cold, and then consume a hot beverage it can lead to micro cracking in your enamel.

Hot drinks that contain sugar and milk are even more harmful to your teeth. The sugar reacts with the bacteria in your mouth producing harmful acids which can deteriorate and wear down your teeth enamel. 

Stained Teeth

While many like to consume hot beverages, no one likes to walk around with unpleasant stains in their teeth. That unfortunately, is another effect of hot drinks.

Hot beverages such as coffee contain tannins, which are highly pigmented substances by nature. The rich pigments combined with the hot drinks can easily soften your tooth’s enamel and then stain it over time. 

While teeth stains are mostly a cosmetic issue, it is indeed a problem, and it can make your teeth look highly unpleasant. The process also erodes your enamel along with staining your teeth, which makes it a health risk. And finally, these stains can be incredibly difficult to remove. 

To slow down staining or counter it, try opting for clear beverages and avoid drinks with tannins in them, such as coffee. Consuming your hot beverage with a straw will also prevent the drink from contacting your teeth and therefore minimizing any harm. 


Once the enamel of your teeth starts to wear out and break down over time, this can lead to decay. The tooth becomes more exposed to the harmful substances, chemicals, and acids that you introduce to your mouth when ingesting potentially harmful foods or drinks.

Consuming hot beverages in moderation along with practicing regular oral hygiene are the most effective ways of curbing these negative effects. Along with that, drinking some water and using a straw will also help. 

Are Any Hot Drinks Good For Your Teeth? 

Coffee and Tea

While a lot of hot drinks can indeed be harmful to your teeth and your oral hygiene, warm-beverage lovers will find it pleasant to know that there are some beverages that can actually be good for your teeth, if consumed moderately. 

Brushing, flossing, and regular dentist visits always play a vital part in protecting your teeth from cavities, gum disease and other harmful diseases. That said, here are some hot beverages that are safer for teeth:


The vitamins, minerals and proteins that are packed in milk make it a healthier alternative to consume. Among others, calcium and phosphorus not only strengthen your tooth enamel but also help repair it. The vitamin D present in milk further helps by fighting and preventing gum disease. 

Nonetheless, milk should still be consumed in moderation due to its sugar content.

Tea (Green or White)

While tea is among the most popular and highly consumed beverages around the world, it’s crucial to understand that not all kinds of teas are good for you.

Green and white teas are the best among the teas because they contain numerous antioxidants which helps fight bacteria and prevents cavities. These teas also help with reducing gum inflammation. Nonetheless, some darker teas can cause staining.

Tap Water

Tap water can also be a highly effective beverage when it comes to fighting cavities and preventing tooth deterioration. Water simply cleans and rinses out whatever bacteria was left by sweet drinks.

It helps the remains and debris by flushing them out. Along with that, fluoride is also found in most tap water which further helps strengthen your teeth enamel. Tap water should always be the first choice; it’s by far the best option for preserving tooth structure.

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