China Mao Feng

China Mao Feng

I love my tea, but admit that it has a major downside: Tea teeth. According to a recent column by Drs. Oz and Roizen, it’s the tannins in tea that cause staining, turning your pearly whites a dingy yellow. Fortunately, according to this article, as well as one by Dr. Andrew Weil, there are a few things that loyal tea drinkers can do to keep their smiles bright:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush, and be sure to floss in order to prevent plaque accumulation (plaque can likewise be stained by tea). Whitening toothpastes may also help, though these can sometimes increase tooth sensitivity.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning.
  • After drinking tea, rinse your mouth with water if brushing is not possible.
  • Drink teas that are green in the cup: Some green teas can brew up to a brownish color, though many Japanese green teas maintain their green color after steeping. Another option is to drink a delicate Chinese green that hasn’t been subjected to aggressive firing, such as White Monkey Paw. The green teas may cause less staining than dark oolongs or black teas.
White Monkey Paw Green Tea - Loose Leaf

White Monkey Paw Green Tea

Another option is to have your teeth whitened. You can do this at home with a kit that you buy from your dentist or a drugstore. You also have the option of receiving professional whitening services through a dentist’s office. While the later option is often significantly more expensive than the do-it-yourself approach, you may get better results and may be less likely to compromise your tooth enamel, which is always a risk with whitening procedures. Ask your dentist whether he or she offers tooth whitening: If you don’t have a dentist, look online and in your local news paper ads for new-patient specials: You may be able to get a good deal on both an exam and tooth whitening services.

More great tea info on Lainie’s blog, Lainie Sips!

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