Does Tea Stain Your Teeth?

Many individuals enjoy a nice warm cup of tea, but no one wants stained teeth ruining the bright sparkly smile. Though darkening teeth is a natural part of aging, certain foods and drinks can also be staining your teeth. So how do they discolor your teeth and what foods should you avoid? Continue reading to find out.

Does Tea Stain Your Teeth?

The simple answer is yes, drinking tea excessively will likely cause one’s teeth to change from their natural white color to a more yellowish tint. It would not damage the teeth to that extent but does dampen the teeth mildly.

Tea contains tannin, which is the main substance staining one’s teeth. As tea is acidic in nature, consumption of the beverage can increase the porosity of the outer layer (enamel) of one’s teeth, making them more susceptible to cause staining – as the pigmented molecules contained within tea can stick to the enamel easier.

What Is Tannin?

Tannin is essentially an antioxidant, known as tannic acid, which is a vegetable dye that is natural occurring in a number of food and drinks, including wine and tea. Tannin can stick to the enamel on one’s teeth and quickly cause them to become yellowish in color.

The more tannins contained in a food or beverage, the more likely that food or beverage will cause staining of one’s teeth. When attempting to ascertain an answer to the question – does tea stain your teeth? It is important to remember that the type of the tea one consumes has an impact on whether one’s teeth will become discolored. Black tea is the most likely to stain one’s teeth, whereas green tea and other herbal teas are less likely to cause staining because black tea tend to have higher content of tannins. The same can be said for coffee, black coffee being more likely to stain teeth than coffee diluted with milk or cream.

3 Remedies to Combat Tea Stains on Your Teeth

Now that you have known that drinking tea can stain your teeth, you may wish to consider certain teeth whitening methods to help combat the problem. Some of the following remedies may prove useful:

1. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) works to gently remove surface stains on one’s teeth. Lemon juice acts as a natural bleach. To make this paste, you will need:

  • Several teaspoons of baking soda
  • Enough lemon juice or water to make a paste

How to use:

  • Mix the baking soda and lemon juice/water.
  • Remove excess saliva from your mouth.
  • Apply paste to your toothbrush and scrub over your teeth.
  • Leave the past on your teeth for 1 to 3 minutes, then rinse.

2. Strawberry, Salt, and Baking Soda Scrub

The vitamin C in strawberries helps to break down plaque, and malic acid works to remove enamel stains. The salt along with the baking soda works as an abrasive. For this scrub, you will need:

  • 1-3 strawberries
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

How to use:

  • Pulverize the strawberries into a pulp, then add the salt and baking soda.
  • Remove excess saliva from your teeth, then add the mixture to a toothbrush, and apply to your teeth.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes before rinsing.

3. Coconut Oil Rinse

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which can eradicate bacteria found within plaque that is responsible for teeth discoloring. For this, you will simply need around a tablespoon of coconut oil.

How to use:

  • Put the coconut oil in your mouth and swish it in and around your teeth for around 10-15 minutes.
  • Spit out the coconut oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
  • Do this in the morning, before brushing your teeth.

Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration After Teeth Whitening

Once you’ve completed a whitening treatment, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile.

  • Use a straw – when drinking beverages, use a straw to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth.
  • Quit smoking – smoking tobacco can cause teeth to become discolored. Eliminating tobacco can help keep your teeth bright.
  • Avoid the foods or beverages that may stain your teeth.

Other Things May Stain Your Teeth

Now that an answer has been ascertained to the question – does tea stain your teeth? One may wish to consider other food and drink products that can stain your teeth:

1. Wine

Both red and white wine can stain one’s teethbecause they all contain tannins, and white wine is generally worse than red wine as it is more acidic.

A simple solution is to rinse your mouth out with water after drinking a glass of wine, or eat a source of protein such as cheese with the wine to protect against staining. One should also brush their teeth half an hour after consumption of wine.

2. Carbonated, Energy, and Sports Drinks

These drinks are terrible for teeth not only because the high acidic content, but also the high sugar content within them.The staining and cavities can be somewhat inevitable after prolonged consumption.

A simple solution is to drink less of these beverages, and ensure to drink water after consuming these beverages. Or you can use a straw when drinking to protect your teeth.

3. Berry Pie

Berries contain chromogens, which are pigments that can adhere to one’s teeth and cause discoloring. This is true for numerous berries, including cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and grapes.

A simple solution is to eat berries in moderation, or replace them with other fruits and vegetables.

4. Curries and Tomato Sauce

Both curries and tomato sauce are acidic and highly saturated. It means that the teeth are in danger of becoming stained.

To resolve this problem, opt for white wine sauce or alfredo to replace of the curry/tomato sauce. Or chew on Xylitol or sugar-free gum after consuming your meal.

5. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is another food that can stain one’s teeth. A recent study has shown that teenagers who ate foods heavy in vinegar were 30-85% more likely to experience enamel erosion.

A simple solution is to eat broccoli or lettuce before vinegar-rich foods, both of these foods can coat the teeth and protect against the effect of vinegar.

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