Ordering Tooth-Healthy Coffee Shop Drinks

Colorado is known for many things: mountains, active lifestyles, craft beer, and—you guessed it—a thriving coffee scene. While most professionals use coffee to wake up or power through their work days, the drink can have harmful effects on your dental health. These effects are exacerbated if you order specialty drinks from your favorite local roaster—loaded with sugar, these drinks work with coffee’s natural acidity to erode enamel and create stains.


We’re not saying you have to give up your weekly vanilla late indulgence—we get it. However, it is important to be mindful of how the foods you consume impact your oral health. Below, we have a quick and easy guide to choosing healthy and teeth-friendly coffee shop drinks.


Choose a smaller size. The larger your drink, the more sugar you consume. Always treat yourself in moderation; you don’t have to give up your weekly vice, but getting a medium instead of an extra-large will save both money and enamel.


Ask for less syrup and skip the extras. Additions like whipped cream, sprinkles, and syrups might make our coffee taste great, but these delicious ingredients pack a sugar punch. Caramel drizzle, while seemingly innocuous (it’s not actually part of the drink, right?), adds 4 grams of sugar to your drink. If you can’t give up these sugary add-ons, ask your barista for one pump instead of two.


If you need coffee, opt for low-sugar espresso drinks. Espresso packs the same caffeine punch as coffee, but the liquid is diluted in most drinks. Instead of getting a cup of coffee, try an Americano or sugar-free latte.


If you need caffeine, opt for tea. Black tea has a similar staining effect as coffee, but the beverage is diluted, less acidic, and less pigmented. If you’re looking for a lifestyle change, get an Earl Grey instead of that drip brew on your way to work.