Does white tea stain teeth? Will black tea or green tea turn teeth yellow? No matter how the question is phrased, people want to know about tea stains on teeth. In a word, the answer is yes. Tea stains can be attributed to tannins or tannic acids present in the leaves, bark and roots of plants used to make tea, according to the ScienceNet website. While drinking tea on occasion leads to extrinsic discoloration, staining the outer layer of the teeth. Drinking acidic teas frequently can result in intrinsic discoloration, a darkening of the inner structure of teeth. Over time, the acids etch tooth enamel, making the surface more porous. As the coloring of tea penetrates the enamel’s surface, tea stains teeth, making the stains become more difficult to remove.
How to Avoid Tea Stains on Teeth
Consider the type and the amount of tea you drink. Some teas are more acidic than others. The Green Tea Library website says black tea is more acidic, whereas green tea is more alkaline. White tea may be the best choice. Though originating from the same Camellia sinensis plant as black and green tea, white tea is made from young tea leaves and is said to have lower fluoride content. Keep in mind fluorosis is a condition associated with the consumption of too much fluoride and it causes intrinsic stains on teeth.
Stay away from old tea. The Green Tea Library website says that tea is more acidic when left in the pot overnight.
Use a straw to drink tea. Drinking through a straw reduces the level of contact between the liquid and teeth.
Tips to Keep Teeth Bright
Give tea stains on teeth the “swishy-swish” by rinsing your mouth with water after each cup, according to Andrew Weil, M.D. at Dr.Weil.com. Brush teeth regularly. A manual toothbrush will do the trick, but a brush with a spinning head works even better. However, you may want to wait 30 to 60 minutes before you start. Research completed at Göttingen University, Germany found toothenamel suffered less damage when brushed aftersaliva had a chance to counter the acids. In other words, let nature take its course before intervening.
You may also try rinsing with apple-cider vinegar to get rid of tea stains on teeth. The Toronto Dentist website, recommends the fermented apple liquid to remove stains and whiten teeth. It should be noted, however, apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid.
Remove plaque with tooth floss. Have you seen teeth whitening product ads with images of tea stains on teeth? The teeth appear a smoky brown color. In reality, most teeth are discolored near the gum line and between teeth where plaque builds. Since plaque stains easily, flossing is an effective way to get rid of plaque.
Visit a dentist for an evaluation of discoloration. Tea stains on teeth can be attributed to a number of factors, including decay and the aging process. A dentist will determine the best treatment, such as routine dental cleanings.
Whiten teeth with products that meet American Dental Association Standards. Again, seeing your dentist is the best way to combat tea stains on teeth, if only for the bleaching and whitening.
Try to reduce tea consumption. Tea enthusiasts will not see this as an option; nevertheless, moderation is the key. Though one study found tea prevents plaque producing bacteria from sticking to teeth, even tooth whitening products and some forms of toothpaste can be abrasive. But limiting your daily tea intake along with proper oral hygiene goes along way to reduce tea stains on teeth.