I use whitening strips every six months, but I cannot keep up with the tea stains on my teeth. I drink about four cups of teeth daily. Will it help keep the stains away if I brush my teeth after I drink tea? What stain-removing toothpaste brands do you recommend? Thank you. Janelle from Douglasville, GA
Thank you for your question. We will give you some suggestions on how to minimize teeth stains from teeth while enjoying your tea.
How Can You Limit Tea Stains on Your Teeth?
You can minimize tea stains on your teeth with these precautions:
- Avoid sipping on tea all day
- Rinsing your mouth after you drink it
- Choosing less acidic teas and limiting highly acidic teas
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after drinking tea
Avoid Sipping Tea All Day
Sipping on tea all day increases stains on your teeth. It is best to consume tea in the morning rather than for a prolonged period.
Rinse Your Mouth After Drinking Tea
Rinse your mouth with water after you finish the tea. Water neutralizes the acid in your mouth and helps prevent erosion and demineralization. Water also promotes saliva production.
Avoid or Limit Highly Acidic Tea
Acid from tea lowers the pH of your mouth. Highly acidic teas will demineralize your teeth, causing them to lose calcium, phosphorous, and other minerals. Your tooth enamel and dentin, the layer beneath the enamel, will soften after drinking highly acidic tea but will harden as your saliva production increases.
Any tea below four on the pH scale is highly acidic and likely to promote tooth decay and acid reflux, which further erodes tooth enamel.
The average pH level of tea:
- Black tea: 4.9-5.5
- Green tea: 7-10
- Herbal tea: 6-7
- Fruit Teas: 2-3
Tea Has Health Benefits
Tea has health benefits, so you don’t need to stop drinking it. The March 2009 issue of the Journal of Periodontology published research that shows that people who drink green tea regularly have better periodontal (gums) health than people who do not drink the tea regularly. Healthy gums reduce the risk of oral infection, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
Avoid Brushing Your Teeth After Drinking Tea
Avoid brushing your teeth after drinking tea because the beverage lowers your mouth’s pH. If you brush while your teeth soften temporarily from demineralization, it can weaken and damage tooth enamel. If your tooth enamel becomes weak, talk to your dentist about fluoride treatment. You may find whitening toothpaste that removes surface stains from your teeth but beware of abrasive toothpaste that can scratch your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpaste cannot remove stains deeper than the tooth enamel.
Professional Teeth Whitening for Tea Stains
Thorough whitening can help your teeth stay whiter and longer. In-office or take-home teeth whitening from a dentist breaks down stubborn stains beneath the enamel. If you have limited success removing tea stains from your teeth, talk to a dentist about professional whitening.
Dr. Ryan Perry, a Baton Rouge family dentist, sponsors this post.