Green tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed in the world. With over 80% of the global population drinking it, there are millions of people drinking green tea every day. And that’s great, right? Drinking green tea every day will keep you healthy and help your body stay young and strong!
Green tea is well known for its many health benefits, including the ability to prevent and treat cancer. In addition to these benefits, green tea also contains many beneficial compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants.
However, despite the numerous health benefits of green tea, it also has some undesired effects. In particular, green tea stains teeth. This is especially true for people who drink a lot of green tea. In fact, many people have already experienced the effects of green tea on their teeth.
While the effect of green tea on teeth is not very serious and it is not something that you need to worry about, you should still be aware of it so that you can take preventative measures. To help you understand this phenomenon better, this article will explain what causes the staining effect of green tea and how to avoid it.
Why Green Tea Stains Your Teeth
So what’s so bad about green tea? What makes it a bad choice for your teeth? While green tea does contain many beneficial compounds, it also contains tannins which are plant polyphenols that have a yellowish color.
Tannins are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants like teas, coffee and cocoa. Tannins are commonly found in plant foods such as red wine and blackberries, but there are some special tannins found in the leaves and stems of certain plants that are particularly effective at causing stains on your teeth. They are very bitter tasting compounds that are responsible for the astringent or puckering sensation you get when you drink something with tannins in it.
Tannins stain teeth a lot more than regular coffee does because they’re more bitter tasting than coffee tannins. This means that when you drink a cup of black coffee, only a small amount gets into your mouth and it doesn’t stain your teeth nearly as much as the green tea does.
The problem with green tea is that it contains much higher levels of tannins than regular coffee does. As a result, green tea stains your teeth and mouth a lot more than regular coffee does.
There are two main types of tannins: gallic acid and catechin. Gallic acid is the most bitter tasting of the two and is responsible for the strong astringent sensation you get when you drink something with gallic acid in it. Catechin is much less bitter tasting than gallic acid and it’s responsible for the color of tea.
How Much Does Green Tea Stain Your Teeth?
In one study, researchers examined people’s teeth after they drank three cups of either black or green tea (with either milk or without milk). After 24 hours, they found that both groups had some staining on their teeth but the level was significantly higher in those who drank green tea without milk (due to its higher tannin content).
Researchers also found that the green tea stain was more intense in people who had less frequent brushing habits. In another study, researchers examined green tea stains on the teeth of both regular and pregnant women. They found that the green tea stain was significantly more intense in pregnant women (compared to regular women).
It’s important to note that this isn’t an issue for everyone and it depends on how much you drink (the more you drink, the higher your risk of staining). However, if you do drink a lot of green tea and you have sensitive teeth or if you have colored fillings or crowns, then it’s best to limit your intake of green tea until this problem is resolved.
Tips to Avoid Staining Your Teeth from Green Tea
The best way to prevent green tea stains on your teeth is by avoiding drinking green tea and drinking other beverages that contain tannins instead. Drinking tea and coffee may be unavoidable, but at least you can take steps to minimize the amount of time you spend consuming these beverages.
If you are concerned about having stained teeth after drinking green tea, there are several things you can do to minimize the staining effect of this beverage:
Rinse your mouth after drinking green tea
While it’s not a great idea to drink the green tea without rinsing your mouth, rinsing your mouth after drinking green tea can help remove some of the tannins that are in the tea.
Brush your teeth right after drinking green tea
When you brush your teeth right after drinking green tea, you’re likely to remove some of the tannins from your teeth (as long as you’re brushing with an abrasive toothpaste).
Drink less green tea if you have colored fillings or crowns
As mentioned above, if you have colored fillings or crowns then it’s best to limit your intake of green tea until this problem is resolved.
Drink black coffee instead of green tea (if possible)
If you can’t switch to black coffee then drink water instead of regular or decaf coffee (this will help reduce staining as well). However, if you’re trying to avoid staining from black coffee, then try replacing a cup of regular coffee with one cup of black coffee each day and see how it goes for you!
Avoid drinking acidic drinks such as lemonade and orange juice while drinking green tea
While it’s not the end of the world if you drink green tea with lemonade or orange juice, it’s best to avoid drinking these drinks while drinking green tea to minimize staining.
It’s also important to note that green tea contains high levels of fluoride which can cause worse tooth staining if you have dental veneers. If you have dental veneers then you should avoid drinking any beverages that contain high levels of fluoride such as lemonade, iced tea, and orange juice.