Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverage in the world apart from coffee. People have been drinking tea since 5000 years ago and is still a popular choice in this day and age. Drinking tea has its health benefits, however the downside is that; Yes, consuming tea can stain our teeth and no ones like to have yellowish teeth!
How does it work?
Tea stains is due to the tannins or tannic acids contained in the tea leaves. Drinking tea very often can lead to the staining of the outer layer of our teeth.Over time, the acids will make the surface of the teeth more porous. When the tea penetrates the enamel’s surface, it stains the teeth.
The stronger the brew, the more acidic the tea becomes. Likewise, the longer the steeping time, the more acidic the tea gets. Try also not to leave your brewed tea overnight as this may increase the acidic levels too. An example of acidic tea is Black Tea with a pH of 4.9. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the food is. By the way, fruit juices have a pH of about 3 or 4 and energy drinks about 2 and 3. Green Tea is considered to be milder among the different types of teas.
Adding milk to teas helps dilute the tea and may slow down the staining process. Cold tea too can also slow down the staining. Avoid adding lemon to your tea as it is considered very acidic.
After drinking tea, always rinse your mouth with water to wash out any tea left. However you don’t have to worry too much because tea is not acidic enough to cause any harm.
Foods that can stain teeth includes:- coffee, wine, dark-colored sauces, sports drinks, berries, and carbonated drinks.
Foods That Stain Your Teeth (www.webmd.com)
Tooth erosion: Tooth surface pH during drinking of black tea, British Dental Journal, 190, 374 – 376 (2001)
Acidic beverages increase the risk of in vitro tooth erosion, Nutr Res. 2008; 28(5): 299–303. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.03.001.