Most people know coffee is a major cause of stained teeth.
But did you know tea can also turn your pearly whites a yellowish hue? Black tea stains on the teeth and gums are caused by tannins -- deeply pigmented organic substances found in plants. Because black tea has a higher tannin content, it may actually be more likely than coffee to stain your teeth.
As a rule, the darker the tea colour, the greater chance it will stain your teeth.
Despite all that, you may not be ready to give up drinking tea. If so, it's important to take care of your teeth to keep the staining to a minimum.
Drinking tea can cause lasting discolouration of your teeth. That said, it's possible to reduce staining through good oral care habits.
At home, a simply daily oral hygiene routine can help. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is a great start. It may also be helpful to drink water after a cup of tea to rinse away some of the tannins left in your mouth.
Lighter-coloured teas stain less, so switching from black to herbal or green teas can reduce staining. Just know that even lighter teas, such as chamomile and hibiscus, can discolour your teeth if you drink them regularly.
Now that you're aware that tea can stain your teeth, you might want to think about a teeth whitening process to combat discolouration.
The simplest approach is using a teeth whitening toothpaste. Some can whiten your teeth up to three shades lighter. And results can start to show within one week.
Another easy-to-use option is a teeth whitening mouthwash. Just swish it around in your mouth right after brushing to get into those hard-to-reach areas a toothbrush can’t go.
You can also supplement your usual brushing routine with an at-home teeth whitening kit. There are quite a few product types to choose from, including strips, gels, LED light systems, and whitening pens.