Tea and milk drinkers, rejoice!
A new study reveals that putting milk on your favorite tea can do wonders by preventing your teeth from being tainted.
Tea, regarded as the second most consumed beverage in the world is enormous in health benefits. Its flavonoid content and antioxidants provide heart benefits. Yet, tea drinking is one of the biggest offenders why some of us have stained teeth. Tea causes tooth stain as tannins found in this drink has shown to leave residue on your teeth, making it tainted as well as stripped off the enamel.
Tea has tannins that make it bitter. Dark in color, tannins can stain the teeth. Other than tannins, the way the tea is processed causes it to stain the teeth. Once the tea is more processed or oxidized, the higher its staining properties are.
Dr. Ava Chow of University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry tells that adding milk to your tea reduces tea’s ability to stain teeth. According to Dr. Chow, she designed her study as a way of introducing undergraduate dental hygiene students to research. However, she was surprised with the outcomes and decided to publish them.
The study, published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, Dr. Chow and her team extracted human teeth and placed them either in a solution of tea or in solution of tea with milk in it. After a span of 24 hours, they removed the teeth from the solutions and checked the color changes.
The findings show that the teeth placed in the tea with milk solution turn white. The researchers attribute it to milk’s main protein, casein, when attached to tannins, prevents teeth from yellowing. The teeth’s color outcome is comparable to the color change seen when using bleaching products and even more effective than whitening toothpastes.
However, Dr. Chow noted that before dentists advise their patients to take tea with milk, they also consider whether milk drinking is part of the person’s culture. She reiterates that adding milk to tea is a culture-specific phenomenon as other cultures may refuse to infuse milk in their teas.
If you love drinking tea but do not like the idea of adding milk, you can consider other varieties such as green, white and herbal teas. They are less likely to stain the teeth than black tea.