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Surprise! Wine & Coffee Aren’t The Worst Drinks For Your Teeth—This Is

A woman laughs while drinking tea.
Shift Drive/Shutterstock.com

All your life, you’ve likely heard that coffee and wine will stain your teeth. That’s true. However, those oft-cited beverages aren’t the biggest culprit staining.

According to experts, tea is the staining agent that you and your pearly whites really need to avoid. Dentist Inna Chern, DDS says it’s the level of tannin in tea that causes it to stain.

While you’ve likely heard tannin mentioned when it comes to wine, the compound—which imparts flavor and color—is also found in a variety of different teas. Depending on which type you’re drinking, the tannins could be more capable of staining than coffee and wine. So hey, maybe that at-home espresso habit you’ve developed isn’t a cause for concern!

“The amount of tannins in any particular tea variety varies by manufacturer, but it is safe to say that black tea and oolong have the highest amount while green tea has a much lower amount,” Dr. Chern said. “Tannin-free teas include most caffeine-free or herbals such as ginger, rosehip, chamomile, jasmine, and hibiscus.”

For those who love a great cup of black tea as well as their shiny white teeth, hope isn’t lost.

Dr. Chern recommends adding milk or a milk substitute to your tea which will lighten the color. You can also opt to drink out of a straw (particularly if you drink iced tea), and of course, brushing your teeth after is helpful as well.

Whether from tea, wine, or coffee consumption, if you’re looking to brighten up your teeth, you can try these teeth whitening kits in addition to Dr. Chern’s tips.

[Via Well + Good]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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