C - Cavity Prevention
No need to clean your glasses, adjust the screen, or check your breath for the smell of booze; you read that correctly. Coffee can prevent cavities and caries.
‘Caries’ is a word I saw while researching a little into this and I had no idea what it meant. In my moment of ignorance I zipped over to Google and quickly learnt that ‘caries’ is the decay and crumbling of a tooth or bone. An example of ‘caries’ in a sentence would be:
‘Most of the students had gingivitis and mild caries, probably due to all of the jam sandwiches they’d been eating. They should quickly change the white bread for wholegrain, and the jam for mustard, obviously.’
But how does coffee really prevent caries?
Starting with plaque.
Who likes plaque?
Plaque gradually builds up on your teeth and houses millions of bacteria. If not removed, these bacteria set to work by eating away at your teeth causing tooth decay (among other smelly things). Obviously, by brushing and flossing, most of this bacteria is removed; but some remain… of the some that remain there is a specific bacteria that I personally find offensive. That bacteria is called Streptococcus Mutans. Sounds like a villain from a superhero saga, right? It’s not, it’s just a type of bacteria that eats your mouth!
S. mutans (for short) is the primary cause of caries both in humans and animals. It metabolises sucrose to lactic acid and boom, your teeth are slowly chewed away (is that irony?).
Side note: I recently learnt that the most bacteria-harvesting object in the average household is…the dish-washing sponge. Ew. After hearing this displeasing information I immediately thought of how I could reduce the level of bacteria growing on my life-long friend, the dish-washing sponge (or Robert, as I like to call him). The answer: Antibacterial soap, also known as Fairy. Robert and Fairy are now best buds.
Fairy, however, does not work so well in cleaning your teeth! (I am yet to try).
Cue coffee: the true superhero of the beverage world.
Coffee, specifically roasted coffee beans, are antibacterial against Streptococcus mutans… In fact, coffee can eradicate up to 98% of these microorganisms! (1)
With these nasty S. mutans mostly wiped out, what more could we ask from our little cup of black love? Well, we could start by asking it to prevent S. mutuns from coming back for the sequel, which none of us really want to see... so be it! Coffee also contains anti-adhesive properties. Meaning, S. mutans have a tough time sticking to your teeth even after the coffee has left. (2)
I’m not saying to rinse and gargle your mouth with coffee as if it were Listerine, no. Coffee still contains tannins which lead to the discolouration of teeth. But, as for preventing cavities, it tops most other beverages available in the workplace.
Invest in coffee and you’ll save on dental bills. Fact.
Mustard can also prevent gum disease… Just saying.