Can You Drink Coffee With Braces? 4 Useful Tips and FAQ

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can you drink coffee with braces

Can you drink coffee with braces? Dive into our guide and learn everything you need to know about having a cup of Joe while wearing braces.

Starting your journey to a better smile can be exciting.

But hearing that you should avoid your favorite drink for the duration of it definitely isn’t.

Can you drink coffee with braces

Well, the answer isn’t that black or white.

In theory – you shouldn’t. But there’s a way around it.

Let’s dive in to learn more.

Should You Drink Coffee While Wearing Braces?

woman drinking coffee
Traditional metal braces use stainless steel brackets and wires to straighten your teeth.

So, can you drink coffee with braces? Well, the answer can be slightly different depending on the type of braces you have. Let’s discuss each of them individually first.

Traditional braces

Actually, there are two main types of traditional braces:

  • Metal
  • Ceramic

And as you might have guessed – the difference between them lies in the material of choice.

Traditional metal braces use stainless steel brackets and wires to straighten your teeth. Ceramic braces, on the other hand, use tooth-colored brackets made of ceramic. As for the wires, they’re still metal, but you can choose to use a color that matches your teeth.

Now, neither of the two materials is prone to staining. Even though ceramic brackets are tooth-colored, they’re resistant to discoloration. 

However, the elastic bands on either of the two types of braces aren’t resistant to the same thing. It makes sense, given they’re made of natural latex. And they can get stained by coffee.

You see, coffee contains tannins, the same compounds that are found in tea and wine. These compounds actually got their name from the leatherworking industry – they were used for tanning leather skin. 

Well, if they can stain leather, they can surely stain the bands on your braces. Tannins achieve that by attracting proteins and sugars and binding them to tooth enamel, causing a buildup on the bands.

The good thing is – you can prevent tannins from building up on your braces with regular care.

The bad thing?

Well, that’s a lot of work, and you still might end up with discolored bands.

Clear braces

Clear aligner, such as Invisalign aligner, works on a different principle. Unlike traditional braces, clear braces aren’t permanently attached to your teeth. 

Instead, they’re made of strong plastic material and designed to fit an individual mouth. Basically, they’re like a transparent cover for your teeth that also gently pushes them into a designated position over time.

Since they’re not permanently attached, you can put clear braces and remove them whenever you want. Like, when you’re drinking coffee.

As I said, invisible braces are made of plastic polymers, and plastic is also prone to staining. So, coffee would cause them to get discolored. And well, what’s the purpose of having invisible braces if they’re no longer invisible?

But that’s not the only issue with drinking coffee while wearing clear aligners. 

A hot beverage could actually cause clear braces to deform. I don’t mean they’ll melt down into nothing, but their original shape can get slightly distorted.

But even the slightest change in shape means the braces won’t sit tight on your teeth. And that, again, kills their purpose.

Tips for Coffee Lovers With Braces

woman with braces sitting in a cafe
When you’re having braces, you need to brush your teeth after every meal

Since braces are typically worn for a few years, hearing that coffee stains them can be devastating for a coffee lover.

Do you really have to choose between having perfect teeth and enjoying your favorite drink?

Don’t worry. There are a few tips you can include in your routine to enjoy coffee without staining braces.

Brush your teeth after having a cup

When you’re having braces, you need to brush your teeth after every meal. 

But if you’re drinking coffee, you need to brush your teeth after that as well. I know, it doesn’t sound like fun spending half a day brushing your teeth. But it’s necessary to prevent your braces from getting a coffee stain.

And yes, that means even if you’re at work. 

Now, you don’t actually want to brush your teeth right after you take your last sip. As you know, coffee is acidic. 

And if you were to brush your teeth with a lot of coffee residue on them, you’d spread those acids around. Doing so could damage tooth enamel, which causes cavities and decay.

Instead, you should wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after drinking coffee before brushing them. 

Use a straw

You can’t stain your braces if they don’t get in contact with your drink, can you?

Be clever
Be clever to prevent tooth discoloration

Well, that’s something you can easily do by using a straw to enjoy your drink. 

Just make sure to avoid plastic straws if you’re drinking hot coffee, as chemicals from plastic can leach into your drink. 

Actually, I’d suggest choosing stainless steel or glass straws as they’re reusable and environmentally friendly. 

Drink decaf or coffee with less caffeine

As we already stated, tannins are responsible for coffee staining.

Now, the process of decaffeination removes not just caffeine but a certain amount of tannins as well. 

Decaf is not completely tannin-free, but its low amount won’t cause your teeth and braces to get stained as regular coffee would. 

With that being said, drinking a gallon of decaf coffee will have an effect on discoloration. 

Drink coffee with milk

Remember how I said that tannins bind to proteins?

Well, milk is rich in proteins.

When you add milk to your black coffee, tannins bind to milk and prevent them from sticking to your teeth. 

Not only that, but adding milk to your coffee makes the drink lighter. Naturally, its stains are not as dark.

Aside from milk, avoid other additives in your coffee, like sugar or syrups. These are all responsible for creating teeth discoloring


Have other braces-related questions? Here’s a short FAQ with the most asked questions on the matter. 

What drinks to avoid with braces?

Acidic and sugary drinks, such as carbonated beverages and natural fruit juices should be avoided. Both sugar and acids can damage or stain your braces as well as teeth enamel.

What can I drink with braces?

Aside from water, milk products and smoothies are safe to drink while wearing braces. You can also consume low-sugar drinks every now and then without worrying they’ll damage your teeth.

Is cold coffee good for braces?

Cold coffee is better for braces than hot coffee as it can ease sore teeth. However, iced coffee can also stain your teeth. Adding milk or switching to decaf is a better option for those who are wearing braces.

To Sum Things Up

If you’re wearing braces, keep in mind that coffee can stain them. In the case of invisible aligners, hot java can also cause deformation.

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favorite drink while you’re wearing them.

Both decaf and coffee with milk stain your braces and teeth much less than regular coffee. You can also use the straw to drink and brush your teeth afterward to prevent stains from forming at all.

Can you drink coffee after wisdom teeth removal? Before you you try, check out everything you need to know about it in our article.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.