Over the years, the debate about the pros and cons of coffee consumption in regards to dental health has been ongoing. Throughout it, all coffee drinkers have known that healthy teeth are not helped by drinking this dark, flavorful, and unfortunately quite acidic drink. While they never expected to hear any good news about dental health and coffee, the time has come for a long-awaited surprise. Studies have revealed evidence suggesting that coffee, when taken black, may have a positive effect on the health of our teeth. At last, coffee drinkers may be vindicated in continuing to enjoy their favorite morning brew.
How The Acid In Coffee Has Been Eroding Your Teeth
No conversation regarding the dental health effects of coffee would be complete without first addressing the known dangers. As one of the most resilient substances in the human body, the enamel is fairly difficult to damage. That being said, it is particularly sensitive to the softening effects of acid, which coffee provides in abundance. Once softened, the enamel becomes more susceptible to the ravages of erosion from wear and tear. As if this weren’t enough, enamel weakened by acid is also more susceptible to staining from tannins in the coffee.
While these are known dangers, there are also well-established steps you can take to prevent both of these concerns.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth following each cup of coffee using clean water
- When finished with your coffee, enjoy a piece of cheese to neutralize the acids
- Avoid drinking coffee within an hour of brushing your teeth
The last point in this list is one that throws some coffee drinkers and non-imbibers alike. Brushing your teeth can also soften your enamel for the length of about an hour. Acidic beverages like coffee aren’t actually the reason we develop tooth decay. Instead, the acids make our enamel more susceptible to damage.
New Information Reveals Dental Benefits To Drinking Black Coffee
Now that we’ve taken a little time to rehash all the bad news about our favorite morning cuppa let’s turn to the good news. Research being done in Brazil at the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro unveiled some hidden properties of coffee that were previously unknown. As part of this research, the university lab took baby teeth that had been donated and cultivated layers of plaque-forming bacteria on them. Once these bacterial colonies had reached a certain size, the coffee extract was introduced, with immediately noticeable results. The bacteria on the teeth began to die, revealing that the coffee extract had antibacterial properties.
When it comes to oral health, it turns out that coffee is good for more than your teeth! 2012 also saw a study that was done by the American Cancer Society that showed people who drink in excess of three cups of coffee a day were also less likely to die from oral cancer than those who didn’t. What other amazing health benefits does coffee hold? Who knows, but we’ll be following closely with a warm cup of delicious java in hand.