Conventional wisdom, and society in general, has often pointed to coffee as a leading cause of stains on teeth. After all, it stands to reason that dark pigments in coffee could stain porous surfaces like your teeth. Most dentists would confirm this, and while it is true coffee can have that effect, new studies show that these risks may be negated by potential rewards.
First, the idea that coffee can really decrease the whiteness of your teeth is slightly exaggerated. Although coffee does have very dark pigments, the risk of staining is almost completely negated by regular brushing habits. So, as long as you’re already brushing twice daily, you needn’t worry too much about tarnishing your pearly whites. Adding milk or other creamer products that contain fats also help to prevent coffee stains from setting in.
All this is good news for your teeth, because in addition to carrying minor cosmetic risks in the form of pigments, coffee has some proven benefits to the health of your mouth. Coffee seems to prevent tooth decay by preventing the bacterial culprits from multiplying. When coffee was tested on S. Mutans (a bacteria that causes tooth decay) it was found to reduce the amount of bacteria compared to control groups. Coffee also acts as an anti-adhesive agent, preventing would-be tooth decaying bacteria from grabbing onto the surfaces of your teeth. And even if regular brushing habits don’t fully prevent staining of your teeth, modern cosmetic dentistry has made teeth whitening a simple and safe procedure.