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Using Tea To Whiten Your Teeth

Updated on September 20, 2012

The Claim

Many people have begun chanting the benefits of the white tea mantra with regards to teeth whitening and oral hygiene. This claim came as something of a personal surprise given how most dentists I know usually tell me to avoid natural staining agents such as coffee, cigarettes and, yes indeed, tea.

Houston! We have a conundrum.

This article is my personal journey into the world of natural teeth whitening remedies, and whether we can positively assert that using tea to whiten your teeth is more than just an Internet myth. If there is some truth to the assertion, I will also go about detailing simple steps you can take to begin the whitening process right now.


Light And Dark Teas

When it comes to beaming white teeth, there are light teas -- and then there are dark teas. Dark teas contain acidic tannin agents which lead to tooth darkening. Lighter teas such as green tea, but particularly white tea, contain less fluoride (fluorosis is at the heart of staining), more antioxidants, and are more alkaline.

Green tea, despite having far fewer tannin agents than old, black tea, can still lead to teeth staining, but at a far less conspicuous rate.

White tea is the least processed of all teas and is sweet and light. In this article I will be focusing on white tea as our potential savior to tooth staining, as studies show it is far-and-away the most orally friendly solution currently available.

Before we begin looking at the benefits of white tea, both in general, and with regards to teeth whitening, some quick tips that may appeal to those of us who indulge in tea binges on a daily basis.

  • Avoid leaving tea out at night and drinking it the next day. Old tea is more acidic and catalyzes the emergence of gradual staining.
  • Drink black tea with a straw if you are unwilling to remove that particular luxury from your daily routine.
  • Don't brush your teeth immediately after drinking, give your saliva some time to normalize the acids.
  • Do rinse your mouth after drinking so that you can avoid an accumulation of plaque around the edges of your teeth.
  • Adding milk to your tea helps dilute the solution, also diluting the staining effect.
  • Avoiding holding tea in your mouth too long. Instead, develop a habit of drinking it down straight (where's the fun in that though?).
  • Hotter temperatures lead to stronger stains, try serving the tea a little cooler than usual.


The Many Benefits Of White Tea

White tea is not only tooth friendly, according to a recent study by Pace University it also provides a wealth of other benefits. Beyond the usual health effects of tea, white tea improves overall health by:

  • Reducing the occurrence of dental plaque.
  • Passively boosts the immune system.
  • Protects from harmful bacteria and viruses.
  • Reduces levels of cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular functions.
  • Provides higher levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents than other types of tea, reducing the threat of rheumatism and heart disease.

It is worth mentioning that the high-level of antioxidants present in white tea also help keep you and your skin young. The elimination of free radicals combats the effects of premature aging, and the properties of tea are a well known stress buster and energy source.

With regards to the gums and teeth themselves, while I have marked fluoride as public enemy number one during the course of the article thus far, it is imperative to ingest a least a little. Lack of fluoride can damage the teeth by making them weaker and cause an outbreak of plaque. It is important to strike the correct fluoride balance. Too much and too little both have adverse effects on our oral hygiene.

Using White Tea To Whiten Your Teeth

The results of my research showed that while white tea is less harmful than other kinds of tea, it does not inherently lead to whiter teeth. Using white tea is less about curing the symptom than it is about preventing them once you're teeth are already suitably white.

I have encountered many articles online during my research that made me scratch my head in confusion. There is a great deal of hocus-pocus out there, but as far as I can tell, no form of tea drinking will help reverse pre-existing stains. What I am willing to suggest is that lighter forms of teas such as green and white provide numerous health benefits and also tend to not stain the actual enamel of the tooth, but may still lead to an accumulation of discolored plaque. In summary, you are far less likely to develop cosmetically objectionable stains in the long-run.


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    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 5 years ago

      Hm, I drink black tea before going to bed. After reading this hub, that has to change. I'll drink it during the day and when I'm finished with this box, I'll switch to white tea. Thanks for the tip :)

    • Craan profile image

      Sheila Craan 5 years ago from Florida

      Interesting! I'll have to see if white tea whitens my teeth, besides I don't like coffee or soda.