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Jan 16 / Kayla

Coffee Beneficial to Dental Health

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Coffee is a refreshing drink that many people across the world drink daily. Recent statistics have shown that 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day, and that the average coffee drinker consumes about three 9 ounce cups per day. Coffee can be a great energy-boost for early mornings or late nights, but it can also have effects on the rest of your health, including your teeth. The most recent research, however, surprisingly shows that drinking coffee may actually have positive effects on teeth.

The Study

Over the years, researchers have gone back and forth on whether coffee is good or bad for your oral health. Clearly coffee does have some drawbacks, such as the dark color which results in yellow-stained teeth. New research, however, shows that drinking coffee may have one, major benefit: decreasing tooth decay.

Several studies have been done testing roasted coffee beans against the main bacteria that causes tooth decay, S. mutans. The coffee beans have shown to be antibacterial against the S. mutans, and that they may interfere with the adsorption of the bacteria to teeth. While the coffee beans do not actually prevent the growth of S. mutans, it does reduce the amount of the bacteria that actually sticks to the teeth.

The researchers tested four different types of coffee beans: roasted Arabica, unroasted (green) Arabica, roasted Robusta, and unroasted (green) Robusta. The results showed that while all the samples yielded positive results, the unroasted samples were significantly less active than the roasted in reducing adhesion of bacteria to teeth.

Preventing Stains

Though coffee can be beneficial to dental health, it still presents the problem of staining teeth. Fortunately, the discoloration of teeth can be easily prevented. Here are some ways to reduce the amount of staining.

  • Brush your teeth or drink water after drinking a cup of coffee to wash away any residue that may stain.
  • Drink coffee through a straw, so it avoids touching your teeth all together, or drinking it very quickly so that the contact isn’t prolonged.
  • Make your coffee using high fat animal milk, because it counteracts polyphenols, the staining agent in coffee.
  • Drink coffee made from Arabica beans, because they contain less polyphenols than Robusta, and thus are less likely to stain.

Even with these preventative measures, minor staining may still occur. Discoloration can often be corrected through whitening processes, such as a professional bleaching or home whitening kits. If you wish to brighten your smile through whitening, talk to your dentist or check out these home remedies for teeth whitening.

13 Comments

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  1. Olga M / Mar 22 2013

    wow! When eating most of the food may be bad effect on teeth, it’s a great news, to drink coffee is beneficial to teeth. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. therese / Feb 16 2013

    really enjoyed this article. very enlightening. Thanks

    • Kayla / Feb 18 2013

      Thanks for reading, Therese!

  3. VuLe DDS / Feb 14 2013

    Coffee decreases tooth decay?! That’s amazing! I never knew that, I only used to hear about how it makes your teeth yellow. Great read!

    • Kayla / Feb 15 2013

      Thanks for reading, VuLe!

  4. Marielaina Perrone DDS / Jan 30 2013

    Coffee obviously contains some amazing properties!

  5. Dr. Howard M. Steinberg / Jan 29 2013

    It seems that coffee is becoming the new health drink of the millennium. Every few months, I read or hear a new report about how coffee drinking prevents or lowers the risk of one disease or another. If you’re going to drink coffee for its health benefits, it should probably be consumed black (i.e. without sugar, creamers or other additives).

    • Kayla / Jan 30 2013

      Great advice, Dr. Howard! Coffee is healthiest when it is left black. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Jason / Jan 24 2013

    Drinking coffee through a straw doesn’t look like something I could do though! But still got so many good tips. Thanks Kayla.

    • Kayla / Jan 25 2013

      It does seem a little weird, doesn’t it? Maybe just for iced coffee or frappuccinos. :) Thanks for reading, Jason!

  7. Tim Kirby / Jan 23 2013

    That’s great news for coffee drinkers. I know most patients I see are most worried about the staining effects, but as you pointed out, there are ways to prevent/reduce staining. Good information and thanks for the update on coffee.

  8. William / Jan 22 2013

    Now this was a great read, who knew? Now I don’t feel so bad about chugging coffee every morning.

    • Kayla / Jan 23 2013

      Just make sure to brush your teeth afterward! :) Thanks for reading, William!

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