You just finished your dinner and the server asks you if you would like coffee or tea with your dessert? If you happen to be an avid coffee or tea drinker, have you ever wondered which of these beverage mainstays is the lesser of the two evils for your smile? The answer is that tea apparently stains your teeth more than coffee.
HOW IS TEA WORSE?
Tea contains compounds that are known to stain teeth: theaflavins, thearubigins, theabrownins and tannic acid, which creates plaque on your teeth that leads to yellowing. These compounds penetrate the porous enamel of your teeth. The stronger the tea, the greater your risk for discoloration according to studies.
PROTECT YOUR TEETH
Over time, food and drinks wear away the enamel of your teeth. The enamel is the top, thin layer on your tooth and acts as a protective barrier. Enamel cannot be regenerated. And so, it is best to avoid highly acidic food or drinks. The acid can break down the barrier of your teeth. Also, there are products, such as fluoride, which help to build the natural, protective shield of your teeth. Studies show that drinking water with fluoride can help with cavity protection. Fluoride is also in mouth rinses and can be applied on your teeth at the dentist office. If you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, it can help as well. You should not be brushing roughly because that can cause damage to your teeth.
“While tea consumption in high amounts can be bad for your teeth, remember there are other things like wine, fruit and sauces that can wear away at your enamel too,” said Dr. Alejandro Cavazos, Advanced Smile Care. “It’s good to brush, floss daily and get regular teeth cleanings.”
If you can’t give up tea, a new study found that adding milk to your drink will help prevent stained teeth. According to the researcher, the main protein in milk was found to bind the compounds that cause stains and prevent them. The researcher used extracted human teeth to test out the theory. The teeth were divided into two groups. Some teeth were placed in tea and some were placed in tea with milk for 24 hours.
“The results we found showed that casein is the component of milk that is responsible for the reduction of tea-induced staining,” Ava Chow told folio.ca. “The magnitude of the color change observed in our experiments is comparable to the color change seen by vital bleaching products and more effective than whitening toothpastes.”
COME SEE US
For nearly 40-years, our team led by Dr. Jason Kboudi, DDS, has been San Antonio’s premier dental practice for creating transformational smiles. At Advanced Smile Care, we do it all. Whether it be a full-smile makeover, dental implants, dentures or sedation to get you through your treatment, as we like to say, “It shouldn’t hurt to smile.”