Yes, Tea Can Stain Your Teeth, but a Dentist Says These Varieties Are Better Than the Rest

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It seems like everything — or at least anything worth having — is damaging to your teeth: coffee, wine, sparkling water, and yes, even tea. Fortunately, if you’re a green tea enthusiast, there’s a silver lining. But first, the bad news: “Green tea stains your teeth, and it is actually worse for your teeth than coffee,” Jeffrey Sulitzer, DMD, chief clinical officer at Smile Direct Club, told POPSUGAR.

Teas contain tannins, the same plant compounds found in coffee that cause staining. “Your tooth enamel is naturally porous and absorbs the tannins in the tea, which then leads to that discoloration,” he said. The upswing? “Although green tea will stain your teeth, it will not stain as severely as darker teas, such as a black tea.”

And if you prefer matcha, the news gets even better. “Matcha actually does not stain your teeth [as badly as other teas] because it contains a high level of chlorophyll and catechins,” Dr. Sulitzer explained, both of which ward off bacteria. “Matcha acts as a natural detoxifier, which protects your teeth from staining.”

Whatever you choose, there are steps you can take to better care for your teeth. “To help avoid staining, it’s important to floss every day because this will help your enamel and teeth stay strong and avoid discoloration,” Dr. Sulitzer said. “It’s also good to rinse your mouth with water after drinking tea or after drinking any beverage that’s acidic and could be harmful to your pearly whites. I always tell my patients to brush your teeth after every meal to help avoid greater oral health issues and minimize staining.”

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