Protect Your Teeth – Drink Green Tea by Marcus Stout
Dental health is important to all of us. We buy special
toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss and rinsing agents to help
ensure that our smile is white, our teeth are cavity free and our
breath is fresh. But, did you know that drinking tea may be one of
the best (and simplest) things you can do to protect your
Well, it's true. Tea has been shown to offer protection to our
teeth. Tea is a natural source of fluoride, which is known to
protect against tooth decay. This is great news for children, who
need significant amounts of fluoride in order for tooth enamel to
harden properly. When teeth harden properly in our youth, it
protects us from cavities throughout our lives.
However, even for adults, whose teeth are fully formed, tea's
fluoride is a great way to protect your teeth. The fluoride found
in tea has been shown to inhibit the growth of glucosyltransferase.
This substance helps the plaque that naturally forms to adhere to
Dentists in the UK have also reported that black tea disables
certain forms of bacteria that work with sugars to form clumpy
aggregates that stick to teeth. These dentists believe that
drinking black tea reduces the total mass of dental plaque.
In addition, one study has suggested that green tea may inhibit
the enzyme that causes plaque to form in the first place. Plaque is
formed when an enzyme in your mouth mixes with sugar in the food
This study, reported by the UK Tea Council, looked at a sweet
drink offered by a gourmet coffee house. This drink included sugar
and whipped cream, but also included green tea. When the teeth of
those who consumed this beverage were evaluated and compared to
those who consumed heavily sweetened drinks that did not include
green tea, the results were significant.
Even when the participants consumed the same amount of sugar,
those whose drinks contained green tea did not have the same amount
of plaque formation as those whose drinks were made with something
other than green tea, leading researchers to conclude that green
tea has a cleansing effect on the teeth.
And, for those of us concerned about bad breath, green tea may
have good news, as well. Green tea also inhibits the growth of many
of the bacteria that cause bad breath. So, drinking green tea on a
regular basis may help keep your breath naturally sweet.
Not getting your daily dose of tea? Here are some simple ways to
increase the amount of tea you're getting each day.
• Skip that second cup of coffee - Even the most serious
coffee connoisseurs can usually forego the second cup if given a
cup of tea as an alternative.
• Make iced tea - It doesn't matter whether your tea is hot
or iced. The protective effects are the same. So, brew up a big
pitcher of tea and keep it in the refrigerator for serving at and
• Carry tea bags - Carry tea bags in your purse or suit
case. This makes it easy to have your favorite tea anywhere that
hot water is available.
• Wind down in the evening. Many people avoid tea in the
evening, because they fear the caffeine will inhibit sleep.
However, both black and green teas are lower in caffeine than
coffee, with green tea having less caffeine than black. In
addition, the caffeine in tea doesn't seem to cause jitters the way
coffee and soda can. So, tea is a great way to wind down in the
evening, most likely without interrupting your sleep.
Green or Black?
If you're wondering whether you should be drinking green tea or
black tea, you're asking a good question. Both are healthy, but
there are significant differences between the two.
Black tea is fermented during processing, which changes the
natural anti-oxidant compounds. While black tea does contain
anti-oxidants, and does offer many healthful benefits, those
natural, unfermented anti-oxidant compounds in green tea are
Research has shown over and over that green tea's anti-oxidants
have significant power to protect health. Green tea has been shown
to prevent cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease and to
help reduce premature aging.
So, while black tea is definitely good for you, and is
protective to your teeth, for the maximum overall health benefits,
get your daily dose of green tea. Many scientists today suggest
that for the maximum benefit to your dental health, you combine the
two. Both are delicious and refreshing, making a wonderful drink
any time of day. It may be one of the simplest ways you can protect
your health - and your smile.
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