Researchers have found the solution to tea-stained teeth 18



View Profile

Do you love to have a cup of tea but worry about the effects it has on your teeth? As you know, tea is made up of wonderful compounds like antioxidants that can help reduce cancer risk, but it also contains tannins, which cause the bitter flavours in tea, and are also known to stain teeth.

For the 60 per cent of us drinking tea often, researchers have found a simple way to reduce teeth stains without having to give up our daily cuppa (or three).

Dr Ava Chow from the University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry came across this study by accident. Initially the goal was to inspire her undergraduate students to do more dental research in hygiene. Her students decided to focus on the effects of teeth staining, and the results were so good Dr Chow just had to share them with us in the Journal of Dentistry. 

To conduct their study, the students used healthy, extracted human teeth and recorded the colours before the ‘staining process’ started. Teeth were divided into two sets to test the effects of staining.

The first set of teeth lay in a solution of tea and the second set was placed in a solution of tea with milk at body temperature. After 24 hours, Dr Chow analysed the colour of teeth from each set.

The results showed that tea combined with milk helped reduce the staining typically associated with tea.

“The magnitude of the colour change observed in our experiments is comparable to the colour change seen by vital bleaching products and more effective than whitening toothpastes,” said Dr Chow, as reported in the New Zealand Herald

Dr Chow added, “The results we found showed that casein is the component of milk that is responsible for the reduction of tea-induced staining.”

If you have ever avoided drinking tea because of the potential effects on your teeth, all you need to do is add milk. But if you don’t enjoy a lot of milk, just a dash to your black tea will yield the same results. .

Is this good news for you? Do you worry about tea stained teeth?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Good grief people must drink a hell of s lot of tea for it to stain their teeth. They must use it as a mouth wash. I drink tea and have never had a problem

  2. Not sure about the milk part. I grew up on tea literally in my bottle! As I grew older I liked it more and more strong with milk and 6 spoons of sugar! I have very stained teeth. It took a huge effort some years ago to go cold turkey and now I have only herbal tea with no sweetener.

  3. Been drinking tea with milk forever. And still ended up with stained teeth. Age and lifestyle has more to do with stained teeth than a good old cup of tea.

  4. Don’t like tea with milk tastes like sour milk to me!

    2 REPLY
    • If the boiling water is put on the milk first it does scald the milk and taste off. Put milk in after the tea. It makes a difference.

    • Neither works sorry used to take milk years ago but now I can’t, mind you I’ve never noticed that my teeth are especially stained!

  5. Your teeth are stained by tea, coffee, whiskey,smoking, ageing…a whole lot of stuff. Had to laugh at the sentence a tea or three I have at least five for breakfast and more later on. Always black, tea with milk destroys the taste. My dad taught me to drink tea and coffee black without sugar so you can go out in the bush and the milk will not sour. I also drink a lot of water and milk every night. As I know my teeth and gums are healthy I have little worry about staining as they get professionally cleaned twice a year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *