If I say the words “Fresh pot of coffee in the conference room!” in most office buildings, there will be a mad stampede to get a cup before it’s gone. We love coffee, and not just here in America but worldwide. Coffee has become one of those strange things that defines us as people, often being cited as one of the top 3 beverages consumed besides water (the other two being beer and tea).
Coffee, however, can present a few problems for your teeth. The good news is these cons can be kept in line. The better news is there are pros to drinking coffee when it comes to oral health!
Coffee is something that powers our world, but when it comes to your oral health it only has one real benefit, polyphenol. Found in coffee with higher caffeine levels, polyphenol is a chemical that helps to break up plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth. This compound is naturally found in coffee beans, and the higher the caffeine level of a cup-a-joe, the more polyphenol you’re going to get. Take THAT plaque!
You knew this was coming, coffee does, unfortunately, have drawbacks. Most notably is the staining that occurs on teeth as the years progress. Thankfully keeping up with regular brushing habits can most alleviate this problem. The next problems, however, can be a bit trickier.
If you are a person who adds sugar and cream to your coffee, you’re getting some pretty high sugar intake from your coffee. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a bottle of water nearby to swish out the sugars after finishing your cup.
As if the sugar wasn’t scary enough, here comes another buzzword; Acid. Yes, coffee is very acidic, and if you’re one of the not-so-uncommon people who drink 3 or more cups a day, then you are at risk for having decaying teeth. Acid is harder to fight than sugar because it starts affecting the areas it touches immediately, whereas sugar needs to chill out for a while the bacteria get working on it. The acid in coffee can cause sensitivity in normal circumstances, and decay in extreme ones.
So is coffee bad for your teeth? The best answer we can give is “yes, bit only a little”. Coffee is not a particularly nasty threat to your teeth, just don’t have 3+ cups a day and we’ll all get along just fine. Have more questions for us? Simply fill the form on the right side of this page and learn more about Hospital Dental Group and what we can do for you!