Which is better for your teeth – tea or coffee?

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February 11th, 2018

The holidays are over, and for a lot of us that means back to the grind – and the caffeine.

Graphic of tea bag and coffee beans

It’s a common question for caffeine lovers everywhere who still want to take care of their white teeth – do I choose tea or coffee?

First, we need to understand why both coffee and tea have a bad reputation for staining your teeth. Tannins, which cause tooth discoloration, are a common ingredient in both coffee and tea. Both drinks are also high in acid, which can cause the enamel to soften, allowing the tannins to have an easier surface to stick to.

So which drink goes easier on your teeth? The answer is: Coffee. Tea has higher levels of both acid and tannins, resulting in more teeth stains. In general, the darker your tea, the more potential it has to stain your teeth. Here’s the good news: There are easy ways to help reduce teeth staining from coffee or tea:

  1. Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after drinking
  2. Add milk or cream to your coffee or tea
  3. If you are drinking multiple cups a day, consider reducing your intake
  4. Consider switching from black tea to an herbal tea like green or chamomile
  5. Brush and floss after consuming
  6. Talk to your dentist about tooth whitening options

Use these tips, maintain a healthy oral routine, and you can protect your smile!