Tea is one of the most loved beverages in the world. Out of the hundreds of teas, 20% of people prefer green tea than any others. Green tea contains several types of vitamins such as carotenoids (a type of vitamin-A), tocopherol (Vitamin E), ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), and minerals like chromium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Green tea is also very high in an antioxidant called “catechins,” which have been shown to have many positive health impacts. Research suggests that there are many benefits of drinking green tea, including prevention of prostate and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
How does green tea protect your oral health?
- Periodontal (Gum) Health: Regular consumption of tea helps to protect your gums by killing or preventing the growth of pathogens. Some studies showed that green tea reduces production of free radicals within the mouth, which prevents inflammation of the gums.
- Halitosis (Bad Breath): Bad breath is usually caused by sulfur compounds produced by specific bacteria within your mouth. Green tea can temporarily (up to 1-4 hours) improve bad breath through its natural anti-bacterial properties.
- Dental Caries (Cavities): Studies found that green tea has fluoride, which can help reduce the formation of cavities. Additionally, other studies found that green tea reduces acidic environments within the mouth, which can help decrease bacteria growth and dental caries, and protect enamel.
How much green tea must you drink to improve your oral health?
For maximum benefit, buy loose, green leaves. Tea bags contain parts of the tea plant that don’t have the essential antioxidants present in loose leaves. The catechins and other antioxidants in tea are most pronounced when the tea is freshly brewed. An average cup of green tea provides about 50-150 mg of anti-oxidants. The recommended consumption is about 3-4, unsweeetened cups a day. You should talk to your dentist and physician before starting or increasing the amount of green tea consumption.
How to protect your teeth from staining:
Green tea contains a chemical called tannins that can stain or discolor dental plaque—it does not stain the teeth itself. If the plaque is not brushed or flossed off within 24 hours, it begins to harden into tartar, making the discoloration look like a stain.
Tips For Preparing Tea:
Use the gentle brewing method for your green tea.
- Use spring or filtered water. Avoid distilled water for making tea.
- The brewing temperature varies with type of green tea you consume. Read the instructions on the green tea packaging for optimal brewing temperatures. If none are given, aim for 120˚-185˚F. A kettle with a lower heat setting will achieve the right temperature range.
- Do not allow water to reach a rolling boil. High temperature (boiling) water will destroy most antioxidants in the tea.
- Use 4 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of tea in 8 ounces of water.
- Allow tea to cool slightly, then enjoy!