In most cases, teeth stains are not caused by an insufficient brushing technique or forgetting to brush twice a day. Rather, the real culprit lies in your kitchen, causing unsightly stains that plague your once pearly whites.
Most of us begin our day with a hot cup of coffee, followed by an evening relaxing at home with a tall glass of red wine at night. So you wouldn’t be wrong if you thought these were some of the biggest culprits behind your stubborn teeth stains. But there’s a worse offender.
When it comes to staining teeth, tea is the worst beverage for your bright smile.
Is Tea Bad For Your Teeth?
With 3.5 cups of coffee consumed daily on average, tea is also popular with Americans, accounting for 300 servings per year. Although neither one of these beverages will make your teeth whiter, tea is “guilt-tea” for having more tannins.
Tannins are chemical compounds called polyphenols that contribute to tea’s unique taste and astringency. In addition, not all teas are created equal; black teas and oolongs contain much higher levels of tannin. In contrast, green and white teas have little if any tannin in them.
In turn, drinking tea with high tannin concentrations can leave stains on teeth as the tannins build up over time on tooth enamel. Yet, for tea lovers, not all hope is lost. Despite the fact that tea discolors teeth more than coffee or wine, you should not stop drinking it.
The benefits of drinking tea are numerous. According to studies, it may help you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and metabolic disease. Additionally, tea is likely to prevent cavities and gum inflammation. While the tannins in tea are the culprit to staining teeth, the tea itself isn’t necessarily harmful. But, can you reduce stains from tea, while still reaping its health benefits?
How To Prevent Stains On Teeth From Tea
In general, darker teas tend to have more tannins. Add milk or another creamer to black teas to lighten them up so they’re easier on the teeth.
You can also limit the contact between tannins and the teeth by sipping your tea through a straw.
When you have had a cup of tea high in tannins, you should brush your teeth as soon as possible. In the event, you find yourself without a toothbrush, drink water instead to reduce staining on your teeth.