Does Green Tea Stain Teeth?
Does green tea stain teeth? Smile! Because we’re going to tell you…
Before you enter panic mode, we’ll make something clear. Green tea ain’t gonna give you green teeth!
Phew. Glad we got that settled.
But will it leave your pearly whites a little less… white? Let’s find out!
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is a sweet, subtly grassy-tasting tea that originates from China. It is one of the least processed types of tea, which also makes it one of the healthiest. Gold (well, green) star! Looking for a tea high in antioxidants? You’ve found it in green tea!
Unlike black tea, which has a rich taste and dark appearance, loose leaf green tea is sweet and earthy and emerald green in colour. Every green tea tastes different, but a good quality cup of green tea will generally treat you to sweet, seaweedy flavours and a touch of toastiness.
Does Green Tea Stain Teeth?
Many different foods and drinks cause teeth stains. Enjoy a glass of red wine? A good curry? Some soy sauce in your stir-fry? All can leave your gnashers a little less pearly.
So, green tea is certainly not alone in causing teeth stains. Pretty much any food or drink that will stain clothes might also stain your teeth! And, yup, this includes coffee and most types of tea!
It’s mainly regular green tea drinkers who will see a bit of discolouration on their teeth. You’re unlikely to see much change if you’re tea breaking with green tea just a few times a week!
Why Does Green Tea Stain Teeth?
There are two main reasons explaining why green tea can stain teeth:
Like coffee and dark chocolate, teas contain a plant compound called tannins. They bring the bitter flavours to our fave foods and drinks. They also make it easier for chromogens (the compounds that give foods and drinks their strong colour) to stick to teeth.
You probably know that acidic things can be harsh on our teeth. It’s why dentists tell us to drink OJ through a straw and eat cheese with our apple-a-day. Teas contain acidity, too, which gives it the potential to stain teeth. Acidity starts to wear down the enamel and make it thinner in patches, exposing the middle layer (dentin) and making teeth stain more quickly.
Does Green Tea Stain Teeth Less Than Black Tea?
If you’re partial to a groovy cup of green tea, you might notice less teeth discolouration than your black tea-drinking chums.
Well, this isn’t 100% accurate. Because green tea doesn’t always stain teeth less than black teas, but it does stain them differently.
Green tea leaves dull grey stains on teeth, while black teas like English Breakfast and Earl Grey leave yellowish stains. This makes green tea teeth stains less evident than black tea stains. Staining is still a thing with green tea, just not an in-your-face-yellow-staining kinda thing.
The colour difference is down to the pHs of our two tea types. Green tea has a higher pH value than black tea. This means it’s more alkaline and exposes teeth to less acidity. And this means teeth don’t go banana yellow.
Black Tea pH = 4.9-5.5
Green Tea pH = 7-10
Does Green Tea Stain Your Teeth More Than Coffee?
Bit of a two-way answer here. Because yes, there’s a chance green tea might stain your teeth more than coffee. However, the stains from coffee will be way more noticeable because of their dark brown colour.
The more-staining part is due to the type of tannins in green tea compared to the type in coffee. The different-colour part is down to the pH difference.
How to Prevent Tea Stains on Teeth
The first way to prevent tea stains on teeth is to become your dentist’s best friend. This means brushing twice a day, with some flossing and mouthwashing in for good measure.
Your mouth is pretty nifty at dealing with the acidity in green tea. Saliva is roughly neutral in pH and will start to wash away and re-harden enamel after you’ve finished your lovely cup. That’s why it’s best to wait an hour after drinking tea before giving your teeth a brush.
You might also like to drink a little water after your green tea to help neutralise the acidity (water has a pH of 7).
This next tip isn’t exactly relevant to green tea, as most of us enjoy it on its own. However, some studies show that adding a splash of milk to your tea will help to protect teeth. This is because
milk = calcium
calcium = happy bones!
Green tea is super healthy and dazzlingly delicious. Staining won’t be a thing unless you’re a regular green tea drinker, and there are plenty of ways you can protect your pearly whites. So we can all keep giving green tea the green light!
Fancy some top-quality loose leaf green tea? Check out our south Indian green tea right here!
Join the troop
And we will plant a tree