This is one of the most common questions you’ll come across at most online message boards: Does green tea stain teeth? Before going any further, we’ll answer this question straight. Green tea can change the appearance of your teeth by giving the natural white color a yellowish tinge. This look is definitely not appealing and it can potentially take away your smile. However, the fact that green tea does stain teeth to a certain extent doesn’t make it a bad beverage. Furthermore, there are easy ways to prevent teeth staining.
Effects of Green Tea on Oral Health
Don’t pass up on consuming green tea just because it stains your teeth. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on the many other oral health benefits it offers.
The reason why green tea stains teeth is that it contains tannins, which are plant compounds that build up on teeth and cause discoloration. The pH of teas further increases absorbency of teeth enamel. This means that plaque, tannins, and food residue will stick to teeth more easily when you consume any type of tea. However, the buildup of tannins when consuming green tea happens to a lesser degree than black tea.
Green tea causes extrinsic stains on the outer layer of teeth. Such stains are easier to remove than intrinsic discoloration, which occurs inside teeth enamel due to cavities, infection, and nutritional deficiencies. You can also prevent teeth staining in the first place by practicing a few good oral hygiene habits.
How to Prevent Stained Teeth When Drinking Green Tea
Like most types of dental problems, teeth staining can be avoided through good oral hygiene. Simple things like brushing your teeth and flossing regularly can help to keep teeth stains at bay. Brushing at least twice a day is good, but doing this immediately after a cup of tea will yield even better results. If you can’t brush your teeth every time you finish a cup of green tea, then swish a few sips of water in your mouth to wash away any tannin residue. For added stain fighting, try brushing your teeth with toothpaste designed for this particular purpose.
Other Oral Health Benefits of Green Tea
While green tea might stain teeth, it can still benefit your oral cavity in a number of ways. For starters, green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants that fight off infection. These two properties allow it to control bacterial and reduce the chances of periodontal (gum) disease. In addition, green tea improves your breath by killing the microbes that make the mouth stinky.
The effects of green tea on periodontal health have been well documented at the US National Library of Medicine. Through numerous studies, researches have uncovered that green tea extract contains catechins with antimicrobial properties that inhibit activity of oral bacteria and deodorize halitosis (bad breath).
In conclusion, it’s important to note that green tea can stain your teeth like many other foods and beverages we eat on a daily basis. However, the oral health benefits it provides far outweigh this draw back. The best part is that stains on teeth can be avoided by simply practicing good oral hygiene.