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3 tooth-friendly swaps to spice up your coffee

Posted on September 7, 2023 in Healthy You


For many of us, the day doesn't truly begin until we've had that first sip of coffee. But if you like your cup of joe brimming with sweet flavors, your morning ritual could be harming your teeth. The good news is that there are tooth-friendly coffee flavorings that can enhance your brew without compromising your oral health. In fact, many of them add a sprinkling of added health benefits. Here, we share three simple swaps that your taste buds and teeth will love.

  1. Stevia instead of sugar: Stevia is natural sweetener that comes from a plant. Although it’s sweet (much sweeter than sugar, in fact), it doesn’t cause cavities the way regular sugar does. So, if you like your coffee on the sweeter side but prefer to keep your teeth out of the crosshairs, swap in stevia for sugar.
  2. Cocoa powder instead of chocolate syrups: Mocha fans, this one is for you. Instead of adding chocolate syrups to your coffee, add a scoop of unsweetened 100% cocoa powder. Cocoa powder not only adds rich chocolate flavor but also includes antioxidants that protect your teeth and gums from damage caused by inflammation.1
  3. Cinnamon instead of pumpkin spice syrups: Can’t resist a pumpkin spice coffee when fall arrives each year? Try adding cinnamon instead of a sugary pumpkin spice syrup, and you may be surprised that they evoke the same autumn-inspired flavor. Like cocoa powder, cinnamon is a wonderful coffee additive because it not only adds warm, spicy flavor but also packs extra health benefits into your cup. Sprinkling in cinnamon delivers natural antimicrobial properties that can help fight bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.2

A simple stain-fighting strategy for coffee drinkers

All coffee drinkers — even those who drink their coffee black, without flavoring — struggle with stained teeth. To lessen coffee’s staining power, simply drink a glass of water to rinse your teeth and mouth immediately after finishing your cup. This simple action goes a long way to keeping the deep brown java hue off your pearly whites.

Enjoying a delicious cup of coffee doesn't have to mean putting your dental health on the backburner. By swapping in tooth-friendly coffee flavorings like stevia, cocoa powder and cinnamon, you can enhance your coffee break while supporting a healthy smile.


1. Dental E-Hub

2. National Library of Medicine