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That First Cup of Coffee May Be Doing Great Things For Your Smile

Let’s make no bones about it, coffee is an extremely acidic drink, and acid is no friend to your teeth. When we add sugar, cream, and flavorings to our morning latte, it can be hard to understand how coffee actually helps our teeth. While the acid is no friend of your enamel, there are other qualities of the coffee bean that may be protecting your teeth long after the flavor fades away.

Coffee has been with us for well over eight centuries, first appearing in 1200 CE

The Secret Element In Coffee That’s Great For Your Teeth

Before roasting, the coffee bean really isn’t good for much of anything. Once the heat hits it, however, it’s more than just the flavor and aroma that get enhanced. As your bean slowly roasts, there are antibacterial properties within that get released. Like most antibacterials, these are only good against a select few bacteria, but it just so happens that Streptococcus mutans is on that list!” What’s so special about this bacteria,” we hear you ask? If you guessed that this happens to be one of the primary bacteria responsible for cavities, you’re right! The substance found in coffee does more than kill these bacteria; it actually makes it harder for them to bond to your teeth! As it turns out, the kind of coffee you’re drinking makes a difference in how effective this substance is:

  • Ground Coffee – You may be surprised to learn that fresh ground coffee is actually the least effective form when it comes to battling bacteria.
  • Instant Coffee – Instant coffee is actually the most effective form of coffee for those seeking to eliminate bacteria and benefit from coffee’s benefits.
  • Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated – There doesn’t seem to be a difference between caffeinated and not.

The substance responsible for all this wonderfulness? It’s trigonelline, the substance responsible for the delightful aroma and flavor of your favorite morning beverage. What this means, broadly, is that the better smelling and tasting the coffee, the better it is for your oral health. It’s hard not to be happy with an arrangement like that!

Four B Vitamins, Manganese, Potassium, All Appear In Coffee As Well!

For All The Good Coffee Does, There’s Still Risks

So given all the benefits of coffee mentioned above, you may be thinking it’s time to start pouring your kids a morning cup! Unfortunately, this probably isn’t wise when considering your children’s teeth and the goodwill of their teachers during the day. Coffee remains distinctly acidic, which can put the enamel of our teeth at our risk. Sugar and creamer only add to the risks, which means your favorite cuppa from your local barista probably aren’t going to help you. However, if you take the time to wash your mouth out after you finish enjoying your coffee, the benefits can be maximized while reducing the risks posed by the acidic beverage.