Dentists may not like that it stains your teeth or mars your smile, but the Academy of General Dentistry is definitely a fan of what coffee can do for your health. The Academy has recently highlighted research which suggests that a cup of coffee may help protect the liver and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, it can help keep you mentally alert and your brain sharp while also stimulating the metabolism.
The new bit of info to accompany coffee’s resume is that there is also early evidence that it may help actually protect the teeth. The exact mechanism behind this isn’t understood, but is thought to be due to preventing bone loss in the jaw.
Though eager to profess coffee’s nutritional benefits (in moderation, naturally), the Academy is aware that people have real concerns about staining their teeth. To help alleviate the concerns, they offer the following tips:
- Using a straw reduces the amount of coffee that your teeth come in contact with
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee
- Acidic drinks like coffee soften tooth enamel temporarily. Wait 30 minutes after drinking coffee to brush your teeth so it can harden again
- A dentist can safely bleach away any stains, but this won’t prevent future staining
These tips appeared in a recent issue of the journal, General Dentistry.