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What Is It About Tea and Coffee That Leaves Dental Stains Behind?

Posted on 9/21/2021 by San Francisco Dental Arts
What Is It About Tea and Coffee That Leaves Dental Stains Behind?Most people have heard the adage that coffee stunts your growth or stains your teeth; however, tea will do it. Both coffee and tea are the biggest culprits for teeth staining because of their tannins. Tannins are found in the plants that make up our coffees and teas, and other drinks. When those tannins build up on the surface of our teeth, it starts to change and dye our teeth enamel. So, drinking black tea and dark coffee is the biggest offender for causing teeth stains.

Coffee Vs. Tea

So, if they are both bad because they both cause staining, there must be one that is better for your teeth than the other. Experts have gone back and forth on this too. Some argue that black tea is worse for your teeth because it contains a high caffeine content (which can lead to grinding your teeth), and it stains on top of that. Meanwhile, others believe that coffee is worse because it has a deeper stain and a lot of caffeine. In reality, the one which is worse for you is the one you drink the most of.

What Can I Do?

We don't think that you should have to completely cut out all teas and all coffees, but you should be aware of how much you drink and how they are affecting your body. If you can switch from black tea to green and then change the green to a decaffeinated version, that is your best outcome for teas. (Green tea also has good benefits for your teeth.) While with coffee, other than switching to a light roast, or a decaffeinated version, the next best thing you can do is not drink it throughout the day. One or two cups in the morning is all you need to be awake for the rest of the day, so stick to that and don't drink it throughout the day as that is when stains adhere themselves. If you'd like to know more about your teeth and how our choices affect them, or you'd like to set up an appointment for a consultation, give our office a call.

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