Do you start your morning off with a cup of coffee? While coffee is a breakfast staple, it can cause your teeth to stain, so there might be a better option out there for you – black tea. Even better, black tea has been shown to offer a variety of great benefits to keep your mouth healthy.
Sipping on a cup of black tea is great for your oral health, as the brew is working hard to rid your mouth of oral bacteria. One of the key components of black tea is polyphenols, and these compounds are known to inhibit oral bacteria growth over a 48-hour period of incubation. Additionally, components of the tea also eliminate bad breath while inhibiting an enzyme that works to produce hydrogen sulphide, another contributor to halitosis.
Black tea can protect the mouth from infections, including cavities and even strep throat. Researchers found that when polyphenols are combined with green tea extracts, bacteria growth is inhibited. Tea is also a natural fluoride source, which will promote healthy enamel, and the tannins found in black tea can prevent the growth of bacteria that cause plaque.
Black tea has also shown promise in the prevention of oral cancer. When people have a precancerous disorder called leukoplakia, drinking black tea can reduce their risk of developing cancer later in life. It is believed that the polyphenols could reverse some of the cancer-causing changes to the DNA of cells that line the mouth. Research has not yet shown what benefit might arise from drinking black tea when oral cancer is already present.
The next time you pour yourself a cup of black tea, add in some milk. This calcium boost can also help to keep your teeth healthy and strong.