Coffee and donuts: Beware this quick fix

You’re late for work and skip breakfast, so during the commute, you pick up a donut and cup of coffee and you’re on your way. This common quick fix breakfast scenario can lengthen your time spent in the dental chair.

The sugars in donuts have been identified as a risk factor for gum inflammation and cavities. Plain donuts contain five times as much sugar as oatmeal cookies, according to a study referenced in the report.

The amount of sugar and cream in your coffee can also increase cavity-causing bacteria. Tannins found in coffee etch into the pits and grooves of the tooth enamel, producing a rough stained surface.

What can you do to lessen the sugar bath your teeth receive from this common breakfast combination?

  • Don’t nurse your coffee or pick at that donut throughout the morning. Limiting the time your coffee and donut stay in your mouth reduces the impact of the sugar on your teeth.

  • Rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste immediately after finishing your breakfast.

  • Cut back on the sugar and sweetened creamers in your coffee.

  • Swap out the sugary breakfast for healthier options. If you have time, consider making sugar-free oatmeal with nuts or fruit. If you’re on the run, grab portable snacks like a banana, boiled egg and string cheese.