What Can We Do about Tea and Teeth Staining?

Drinking tea is not only refreshing and energizing, but also beneficial to overall health, such as enhancing memory and boosting the immune system. However, many people worry that long-term consumption of tea may cause yellowing of the teeth, similar to the tea stains that accumulate on teacups. This article will discuss about tea and teeth staining. Here we go!

Is there any truth to tea and teeth staining?

1.Yellowing of teeth is not caused by tea stains

There is a common misconception that drinking tea can leave stains on teeth similar to tea stains on teacups. However, this viewpoint is incorrect.

tea and teeth staining

Tea stains, also known as tea tartar or tea deposits, are formed when tea reacts with air, resulting in the formation of insoluble substances with unattractive colors that adhere to the surface of the teaware. The crucial factor in tea stain formation is air exposure. Since teeth are not constantly exposed to air, there is no need to worry about tea stains on teeth.

Does Drinking Tea Really Cause Teeth Yellowing

However, it is important to note that tea stains on teaware should not be ignored from a health perspective. If not cleaned promptly, the tea deposits on teaware can enter the digestive system through the consumption of tea, affecting the absorption of nutrients in the intestines. In severe cases, it can lead to inflammation of organs such as the kidneys and stomach. The most effective way to remove tea stains is to thoroughly clean teaware after each use. In the case of tea stains, using toothpaste to brush them off promptly is recommended.

2. Does drinking tea cause teeth staining?

The yellowing of teeth and poor coloration are primarily caused by external environmental factors and intrinsic factors of the teeth themselves, not directly related to tea consumption.

Does Drinking Tea Really Cause Teeth Yellowing

Intrinsic factors include:

  • Gray discoloration caused by pulp death.
  • Discoloration due to the use of certain medications or excessive intake of certain substances during tooth development, such as tetracycline staining or fluorosis.
  • Natural slight yellowing of teeth with age.

External environmental factors include:

  • Long-term smoking, consumption of easily stainable food, etc.
  • Contact with substances such as iron and sulfur can cause teeth to turn brown, while contact with copper, nickel, or chromium can lead to greenish discoloration of teeth.

If drinking tea has any impact on teeth, it would be related to oral hygiene. In theory, drinking tea may contribute to teeth yellowing as polyphenols present in tea can easily accumulate in the gaps between teeth and other hidden areas. Individuals who have a habit of long-term tea consumption but do not brush their teeth thoroughly may overlook these details, leading to teeth yellowing.

Tips for Healthy Oral Hygiene

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day, ensuring each brushing session lasts for approximately two minutes.
  2. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking tea.
  3. Regularly check your teeth to maintain oral health.
  4. After brushing your teeth at night, you can use a gauze pad dipped in lemon juice to clean the surface of your teeth, which helps achieve a whitening effect and strengthen the tooth roots.
  5. Drinking tea contributes to dental health:

In China, there has long been a belief that rinsing the mouth with tea can promote dental health. Su Dongpo, a famous poet of the Song Dynasty, once mentioned the benefits of rinsing the mouth with strong tea after meals to eliminate greasiness.

Does Drinking Tea Really Cause Teeth Yellowing

Modern scientific research has found that tea contains elements such as tea polyphenols and fluoride, which are beneficial for protecting and whitening teeth. Therefore, drinking tea is actually advantageous for dental health.

Benefits of drinking tea for teeth

  • Tea contains fluoride, which is an essential trace element needed by teeth. Fluoride combines with hydroxyapatite in teeth and provides acid resistance and cavity prevention.
  • Tea polyphenols can increase the protective layer on the surface of teeth, safeguarding the enamel and preventing teeth from getting stained.

Furthermore, drinking tea can promote oral hygiene and enhance the mouth’s antibacterial capacity. Chewing a few tea leaves after consuming strongly flavored foods can help eliminate bad breath. Many toothpaste formulations also incorporate tea elements, especially green tea, for their dental protection properties. Therefore, the yellowing of teeth cannot be solely attributed to tea but rather to individual brushing habits.

To protect your teeth, feel free to drink tea regularly. As long as you consume it in moderation and maintain good oral hygiene practices, tea can play a positive role in maintaining dental health. We believe that after reading this article, tea enthusiasts will change their perspective and develop healthy habits to protect their teeth in a scientific and responsible manner.


It is a common misconception that drinking tea is the main cause of teeth staining. In fact, this is not entirely true. Tea contains certain substances that may have a mild staining effect over time, but it is not the sole culprit. Many other factors such as poor oral hygiene, consumption of highly pigmented foods and beverages, and smoking can have a more significant impact on teeth staining.

On the contrary, drinking tea can offer several benefits for teeth health. Many teas, especially green tea, are rich in antioxidants that can help fight bacteria and inflammation in the mouth, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. The polyphenols in tea can also strengthen the enamel, making the teeth more resistant to erosion and cavities. Moreover, tea can stimulate saliva production, which is essential for rinsing away food particles and neutralizing acids that can harm the teeth.

In conclusion, while it is important to be aware of the potential for mild staining from tea, we should not overlook the numerous benefits it offers for our oral health. By maintaining good oral hygiene practices and enjoying tea in moderation, we can reap the rewards of its health benefits without significant concerns about teeth staining. So, don’t let the fear of teeth staining stop you from indulging in the wonderful world of tea, as it can truly be a friend to our teeth when consumed mindfully.

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