Many of us have spent years listening to doctors, friends, and health gurus tell us how bad coffee and tea can be for our health. But now there’s good news for people who need their morning coffee or tea to get through the day: Coffee and Green Tea are actually good for your health, AND your teeth!
Research has found that not only does coffee protect the liver, boost metabolism, reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, it also may help teeth by preventing bone loss in the jaw. In addition, it can provide antibacterial properties that may help protect the gums. Coffee’s high chlorogenic acid content has antioxidant properties, and reduces the bad bacteria in the oral microbiome as well.*
Coffee has nutritional benefits, but of course moderation is key. It is a stimulant, so too much of a good thing can interfere with sleep. But continued research shows that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Researchers have long been singing praises for the health benefits of green tea, and there is now evidence to show that green tea can also improve dental health. Recently, researchers from Iraq have combined both green tea and extracts from Salvadora persica, also known as the toothbrush tree, to help fight oral bacteria and eliminate dental plaque. They found that green tea had an effective anti-plaque effect, and that when combined with Salvadora persica, dental plaque was significantly reduced.
The researchers concluded, then, that a combination of green tea and S persica extracts could be used as an effective active agent in oral healthcare products. Their study, “Anti-plaque effect of a synergistic combination of green tea and Salvadora persica L. against primary colonizers of dental plaque,” was published in Archives of Oral Biology.*
Of course, coffee and tea can also stain teeth by settling into the tiny holes and ridges in enamel and restorations. But you can minimize the staining by sipping acidic liquids through a straw, and drinking or rinsing with water after drinking. Wait 30 minutes to brush, though, as acidic drinks can soften your dental enamel temporarily.