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Beneficial And Harmful Properties Of Coffee For Oral Health

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Cup of coffee with beans

All over the world, millions can’t seem to start their day without coffee. The very idea of not having that morning cup can almost cause a sense of panic. Some people don’t stop with a morning cup; they continue to drink coffee throughout the day. There’s been a standing belief that coffee is terrible for your teeth. However, this belief may not be wholly correct. Like most things, the truth lay somewhere in between. If you’re wondering if cutting your morning cuppa out would help your oral health, read on.

The Beneficial And Harmful Properties Of Coffee For Oral Health

Regardless of your preferred form of caffeine, it’s always best to take it in moderation. Along with sugary drinks, coffee is a common concern for patients and dentists alike. Limiting your coffee intake and using enamel-strengthening toothpaste can help limit the damage. The biggest concern in coffee is acid. Acid weakens enamel and can help promote the development of cavities. Weakened enamel is also more susceptible to staining from sources like coffee and other dark foods.

What’s important to know is that coffee doesn’t intrinsically cause tooth decay. There are recent studies that indicate that coffee may help your smile. The critical distinction is that the benefit doesn’t mean those sugar-rich mixes aren’t hurting your teeth. If taken black, coffee has been found to benefit the health of your teeth.

Coffee has been found to contain certain enzymes that can help protect against decay-causing bacteria. The addition of flavorings, sugar, and even milk undermines these benefits, however. Research on the topic revealed that these enzymes could effectively reduce harmful bacteria found in the mouth. They also made the growth of biofilm, plaque, and tartar happen at a slower rate. As such, it has been found to be a powerful preventative.

So how can you take advantage of the benefits of coffee without suffering the ill effects? Follow these three tips to start:

  • Drink water frequently throughout the day to neutralize the acid from coffee
  • Snacking on cheese while eating coffee can also achieve this effect
  • Avoid coffee within an hour of brushing your teeth

This last one may seem a bit strange. The substances in your toothpaste can soften your enamel for a short while. Giving your teeth an hour to absorb the fluoride and reharden can help prevent staining and decay when drinking coffee.

Speak To Your Dental Professional To Learn More About Coffee And Oral Health

Coffee has been long maligned for its ability to harm our teeth. This recent research reveals that this reputation may not be entirely deserved. If you’re one of those who can’t take their coffee black, then you’d do best to avoid it. The consequences of drinking sweetened coffee are well-known and come with a mighty load of calories to boot. Speak to your dental care provider to learn more about coffee and your smile.

Dr. Kevin H. Speer
Oak Grove Dental Center takes a comprehensive approach to dentistry that reaches throughout the Oregon communities, streamlining our dental services through an expansive reach of dentists and hygienists. By focusing on informing and educating our patients, we have pride in our ability to provide long-lasting treatments for those within the Portland, OR area.

Dr. Kevin H. Speer
Oak Grove Dental Center takes a comprehensive approach to dentistry that reaches throughout the Oregon communities, streamlining our dental services through an expansive reach of dentists and hygienists. By focusing on informing and educating our patients, we have pride in our ability to provide long-lasting treatments for those within the Portland, OR area.

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