This time of year, it’s great to curl up with a hot, steaming mug of your favorite beverage. Unfortunately, many of your favorite winter drinks are not exactly good for your smile. Coffee causes significant discoloration, and hot chocolate is packed with harmful sugar. With health care experts touting the benefits of tea, you may be wondering how tea affects your teeth. Multiple studies have confirmed that tea can have significant benefits for your smile. However, you must be wise about the ways you consume this winter drink.
The Pros and Cons of How Tea Affects Your Teeth
Black tea is a leading cause of dental stains. In fact, some experts believe that tea causes worse discoloration than coffee! On the other hand, tea offers a number of benefits both for your overall physical health and for your dental wellness. The solution is to drink green tea. This beverage is full of antioxidants, which can help your body fight off infection, including gum disease and dental decay. It also contains polyphenols, which slow the growth of bacteria. Thanks to polyphenols, green tea can help to prevent bad breath. At the same time, however, the beverage does not contain dark-colored chromogens, which can stain your teeth.
Green tea has long been a staple of Chinese and Japanese diets, and these nations have often declared the great health benefits of the beverage. In 2009, the Journal of Periodontology published a study confirming the benefits of green tea for dental health. The study was conducted at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. Researchers analyzed the gum health of 940 men between the ages of 49 and 59. Those who regularly drank green tea had noticeably healthier gums than those who did not. The health benefits of the beverage increased in proportion to the number of cups consumed per day.
Protect Your Smile While Drinking Tea
Even green tea can have negative effects on your smile if you consume it unwisely. Putting sugar in your tea will greatly increase your risk for dental decay and negate the health benefit of the beverage. Additionally, you should always choose freshly brewed tea, rather than bottled tea. Store bought beverages often contain extra sugar or citric acid. Acid can erode your dental enamel, leading to decay and stains.
Even once you know how tea affects your teeth, you may still want a cup of black tea from time to time. You can still drink this beverage in moderation. Just be sure to drink water at the same time, since this will help remove the stain-producing molecules from your teeth. If you suffer from dental discoloration, you may also benefit from our at-home whitening treatment.
About Your Conroe General Dentist:
The Dental Centre of Conroe, John M Richards DDS delivers distinctive cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentistry for residents of Conroe, Houston, The Woodlands, Willis, Huntsville, and the neighboring communities. For more information about our services, or to schedule an appointment, contact us by calling (936) 441-4600.