Mornings are tough. Plain and simple. To help ease the transition from deep sleep to fully awake, millions rely on a steamy caffeinated beverage to get them going each morning. However, the daily grinds which help you through your daily grind can eventually cause wear and tear to your pearly whites.
Are you considering making a switch to either coffee or tea on account of your winning smile? Read on.
Coffee and tea stain your teeth
As a general rule, if a liquid can stain fabric, it can stain your teeth as well. What’s more, while the overall health benefits of tea are generally undisputed, there’s actually evidence to suggest it may ultimately stain your teeth more than a traditional cup of Joe.
If the above statement seems a bit counterintuitive allow us to explain.
Tea stains your teeth more than coffee
Despite the fact that your dark roast may appear to have more color than say, black tea, through naturally occurring tannins and processes such as oxidation, teas can really take to teeth, potentially leaving you stained or splotchy.
What is Tannin?
Tannins are found in all kinds of foods and beverages. For instance, you’ve probably heard this word most often used when talking about wine. In short, it’s an antioxidant called tannic acid, which is a naturally occurring vegetable dye. Tannins are quick to adhere to plaque on our teeth, and can ultimately cause yellowish discoloration on teeth’s surface.
In short, the more the tannins, the greater likelihood of stains.In the case of tea versus coffee, black tea has more staining power than green tea (same goes for dark black coffee as opposed to a lighter blend which has been diluted with cream or milk).
How can I have my tea and drink it too?
If giving up tea or coffee altogether is simply out of the question, we do have a few suggestions which can help mitigate hard to remove stains.
- Swish a glass of water around your mouth after ingesting a cup of tea or coffee
- Brew light coffee and add a small amount of cream or milk
- Change out your black tea bags for green or white tea
- Floss daily to remove plaque stains along your tooth’s edge
- Use a bit of baking soda and salt to lift surface stains, then rinse with hydrogen peroxide twice a week
- Brush with whitening toothpaste immediately after you finish the cup to keep stains from setting
Ultimately, we want to stress that, despite the potential for pesky stains, drinking tea is good for you. For example, Green tea contains the chemical compound fluoride which has been show to substantially strengthen teeth. It has been shown to kill bad breath causing bacteria and viruses in the mouth.
However, if in the end, you’re still uncomfortable with your smile after these preventive care measures, make an appointment to see if having your teeth bleached by a dentist is a good next step.