The truth of tea

I have had a lot of stressors on my plate lately, but one of the lesser prominent items on my mind is my teeth. I was recently told by my dentist that some of the grooves in my teeth are now becoming problems, and they must be filled in. Obviously, this is a fun blog post.

Whether it’s intentional or not, I often complain about teeth sensitivity. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t drink a certain temperature of beverage (both hot and cold) because it simply hurts.

I’ll admit, I don’t have the whitest teeth in the world, nor the straightest. (My mom has nicknamed a crooked tooth of mine “Fang.”) I used  to blame my lack of a pristine smile on my addiction to coffee, but I broke my addiction on my caffeine strike during January. Now, I’m only down to one cup of coffee in the morning and caffeinated tea in the afternoon.

So, what does this have to do with tea? We’re getting to it.giphy

I had been relaying my dilemma to a friend at lunch, and she gave me a funny look when I told her I thought my teeth issues came from the one cup of coffee. Her aunt is a dentist, and she told me I had it all wrong.

“It’s not the coffee,” she said. “Tea stains your teeth faster than coffee does because it’s acidic.”

Skeptical of her claim, I investigated. Lo and behold, my friend was right—tea is actually more harmful to your teeth than you realize.

Teas often contain an ingredient called tannic acid, the part of the tea that gives the liquid the dark coloring. Tannic acid can easily slip into the grooves in your teeth and settle in for the ride, providing stains easier than coffee. If you enjoy herbal tea, your enamel is more likely to be dissolved. (Perhaps this is why British people are stereotyped with yellower smiles!)

Now, this isn’t a post against Europeans, or to say that tea is bad for you. The antioxedents tea provides are sometimes vital to your health. I know I always feel a bit brighter after I have a grand cup of tea. However, it’s interesting to know the kickbacks of a beverage you might have thought was perfect.


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