Those who drink coffee are often warned that their cup of morning go-juice may be posing risks to their oral health. While the sugar, cream, and other elements found in many cups of coffee certainly aren’t going to be doing your enamel any favors, the coffee is where the magic is. Certainly, the acidic nature of coffee will damage your teeth if you don’t take good care of them, but another lesser-known quality of the good bean is still at work.
Coffee as we know it first made an appearance over 800 years ago in 1200 CE
How Coffee May Be Protecting Your Teeth From Decay
When the coffee bean gets roasted, there’s more going on than just an enhancement and refinement of its flavor. Locked within the uncooked bean are antibacterial properties that are released when the coffee is roasted. While only effective against a small range of bacteria, it is good fortune for the coffee drinker that Streptococcus mutans is among them. This organism is recognized as the root cause of most decay, and drinking coffee sends them an eviction letter. It doesn’t end there either; not only is it killing the bacteria, but it also works to prevent them from bonding to your teeth. Studies have demonstrated that different forms of coffee provide differing levels of protection:
- Ground Coffee – This form of coffee is the least effective at preventing adhesion and fighting bacteria.
- Instant Coffee – While more research is necessary, results have indicated that instant coffee seems to be the most effective.
- Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated – No discernable difference has been shown in efficacy between caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee.
You may be wondering what the ingredient is in coffee that produces these wonderful effects? Its name is trigonelline, and coffee aficionados may recognize it as the substance responsible for the depth of flavor and aroma of your coffee. This fact means that the richer the natural flavor and aroma of your coffee, the more effective it’s likely to be at preventing decay—a total win-win.
Manganese, Potassium, and Four 4 B Vitamins All Appear In Coffee
For All The Good Coffee Does, There’s Still Risks
While coffee has some great benefits for our oral health, and many of us can’t get started without a cup in the morning, there are risks. Coffee is a significantly acidic drink, and acid tends to soften the enamel on our teeth. Adding creamer and sugar to coffee only worsens this situation, so your favorite drink from your barista may be a concern. The answer, thankfully, is simple. Once you’ve finished your morning cuppa, take some time to rinse your mouth out with water or munch on some cheese. It just so happens it’s another tantalizing favorite that can neutralize the acid in your mouth until a good rinse is available.