Tea stains your pearly whites because your tooth enamel is naturally filled with small holes or pore-like openings that lead to the root. Tannins build up on your tooth enamel. As you drink, it's almost impossible to keep the tea from hitting your teeth. Most people think tea is a safer alternative to coffee when it comes to staining your teeth. Most teas contain more tannins than coffee.
Theaflavins and thearubigins are ingredients of tannin, a substance that is also used in the process of tanning leather. That's where the name tannins came from because it would tan the hide of animals. Tea contains several compounds that have been known to stain teeth. They discolor your teeth based on the strength of the tea. Interestingly enough, tannins are also found in wine.
If you have ever heard someone refer to the taste of something as “tannic.” It's that somewhat bitter taste you would have biting into a fruit that isn't ripe yet. The positive side of tannins is they are what is responsible for making your tea a good source of antioxidants.
Tips to Keep My Teeth White and Still Enjoy Tea
Use a straw when you drink your tea. This will keep it mostly away from coming in contact with your teeth. You can also add milk to your tea. The tannin in the tea will bind with the milk and retain it from sticking to the enamel of your teeth. Wash your mouth out completely with warm water after you drink tea. You can also, every couple of days brush your teeth with baking soda. This will remove any tannin beginning to stain your teeth. Eat raw and crunchy vegetables throughout the day is also a helpful remedy.
If you have been drinking tea for a long time and your teeth have already faded with tannin, our office is here to help. There are options like chairside bleaching that we can assist you with. We can also provide your teeth a deep cleaning. Sometimes multiple deep cleanings are necessary, spacing them a few months apart depending on the extent of fading. Please give us a call and we can schedule an appointment to work on getting your pearly whites back.