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Three things you thought were bad, are actually good for your teeth.

You’ve heard it all before, so when someone starts in on how important brushing and flossing are, they might as well be talking like the teacher on Charlie Brown. Yes, we know! Along with everyone else, you know what is good for your teeth.

However, we’ve also been told that certain things are bad for our teeth and should be avoided. But is that always the case? Let’s take a closer look.

Coffee is good for your teeth.
Believe it. Red wine is good for your teeth.

Red Wine

Red wine has been bashed for its ability to stain your pearly-whites. While that is still true, it can actually be good for your teeth too.

When bacteria adheres to your teeth, it becomes a biofilm that adheres to the surfaces of teeth, also known as plaque. Researchers have recently discovered that phenolic extracts from grapes act as an antimicrobial agent and inhibit the growth of certain strains of bacteria found in oral biofilms. These phenolic extracts can also be found in wine.

Go ahead, raise a glass to your oral health.

Chewing Gum and Mints

Bubblegum and mints also have a bad reputation among dental professionals. This is because they’re generally laden with cavity-causing sugar. However, research shows that xylitol, a natural sweetener added to certain chewing gums and mints, works as an antimicrobial agent, much like the phenolic extracts in red wine. Over time and with regular use, these products can actually change the quality of the bacteria in your mouth, resulting in less of the bad kind that causes cavities and ultimately being good for your teeth.

Moreover, in cases where someone is of higher susceptibility to tooth decay due to xerostomia (also known as dry-mouth), xylitol-sweetened mints and gum will encourage saliva production and help to prevent cavities. Candies made with xylitol are hitting the market as well.

So, if you have a sweet tooth, this may be a sweet benefit for you.


Coffee is often regarded as the arch nemesis for a beautiful, white smile. Not only can it stain, but because it’s acidic, it can erode enamel. When enamel erodes, the end result can be sensitivity and increased tooth decay. However, you may be surprised to learn that it contains trigonelline, which can help prevent plaque from attaching itself to your teeth.

Not a coffee fan? That’s okay, you’ll find trigonelline in green tea too.

If you’d like to enjoy your coffee and wine without fear of the negative side-effects, try drinking with a straw, rinsing your mouth when you finish, and limiting the length of time your teeth are subjected to the discoloring liquids. In other words, drink up, don’t sip all day, and feel good that you’re doing something good for your health. You may not be able to avoid the inevitable coffee breath, but you can always enjoy a xylitol mint afterwards.

This article is provided on behalf of West Palm Beach cosmetic dentist Dr. Sam Sadati.

photo credit: jpalinsad360 via photopin cc

A fifties' child, mom, wife, avid genealogy researcher, web contributor and author/owner of four blogs including Empty Nest Ancestry, Feathering the Empty Nest, Top Web Blog Tips, Job Bully, and our extensive family genealogy database site at Blythe Genealogy.

One Comment

  • Emm

    Most gum is sugar-free now but that in itself can be unhealthy for people in general. In that some artificial sweeteners are thought to be toxic for people.


This is one of my four blogs:

I'm a wife and mother, with a wonderful husband and two great 'kids' who are now young adults, and we live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada - in the great city of Chilliwack, to be exact (one hour from Vancouver).

Feathering the Empty Nest is my 'baby' that I have been nurturing and building or four years - ever since taking medical retirement from my government job because of disability issues. As a result, general health and well being, and losing weight are a concern for me and are therefore topics covered here. I also discuss marriage, raising a family (especially military families like ours) including parenting teens,adult children (or, if you prefer - parenting young adults living at home) as well as parenting children of all ages.

Of course, I can't forget our lovable, furry family members. Pet ownership is wonderful - especially once our kids have moved out on their own, so there is discussion about responsible pet ownership and care. Lifestyle changes that come with raising a family, retirement, and health issues, in addition to how these affect other aspects of our lives such as housekeeping, cooking and shopping matter a great deal. Being the lazy housekeeper and indifferent cook that I am, learning how to save money while still eating well has meant finding easy cooking recipes, experimenting with online grocery shopping and sharing invaluable household hints and tips.Our home remains our castle, whether our kids live here or elsewhere and home ownership and renovations, diy home projects and repair tips and hints play a large role.

Weave all of this together with humorous stories of children, pets, family life, marriage and any other silly little thing I can think of, and you have 'Feathering the Empty Nest.'

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