The whitening tooth is a hot topic, and plenty of products are on the market to help you. But can you drink tea while whitening?
It is generally safe to drink tea while whitening your teeth. However, it is important to know that some types of tea, particularly dark-colored teas such as black tea and certain herbal teas, can stain your teeth.
Suppose you use a teeth-whitening product that involves applying a bleaching agent directly to your teeth, such as a whitening gel or strips. It is generally best to avoid drinking tea or other stain-causing beverages during the whitening process.
This will help prevent new stains from forming on your teeth while they are in a more porous and receptive state due to the whitening treatment. Once the whitening treatment is complete, you can resume drinking tea as you normally would.
Brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with water after drinking tea is a good idea to help remove any lingering particles that may cause staining.
If you’ve ever had stained or discolored teeth, you know that not all over-the-counter toothpaste works for getting rid of them. And if you’re looking at professional treatments like in-office bleaching techniques, they may be expensive too.
So what’s left? An increasing number of people turn to home remedies that use hydrogen peroxide to light stains. Once the stains have been lifted, when is it ok to start drinking tea again?
When Can I Drink Tea After Whitening?
The amount of stain removal varies from person to person, so even when using products containing similar bleach levels, results will vary based on each individual’s natural pigmentation level. In addition, the effects of any particular product might also depend on which type of product was used since different varieties contain varying amounts of whitening agents.
Other things besides tea itself can affect the effectiveness of your whitening treatment. For example, drinking soda, eating sugary snacks, or consuming alcohol can reduce the efficacy of teeth whitening treatments.
This isn’t because of anything magical about sugar or alcohol but because their consumption causes plaque along the gum line, where bacteria feed off sugars and produce harmful acid. This leads to staining and tartar buildup, eventually leading to cavities. Also, smoking cigarettes has been shown to decrease the power of certain whiteners.
Now let’s look at what kinds of beverages and foods cause problems when getting nice white teeth.
Some dentists say that regular brushing immediately following a whitening procedure helps prevent the recurrence of yellowing. Keeping moist with bottled water prevents dry mouth, making it less likely for gums to bleed. Make sure you follow your dentist’s advice exactly.
A dry mouth is often associated with advanced cases of periodontal disease, and bleeding gums can lead to further infection.
If you are going to drink tea after a whitening treatment, it is best to wait for at least one hour after the treatment and brush your teeth. Use a straw so the tea does not directly contact your newly brightened smile.
What Hot Drinks Can You Have When Whitening Teeth?
Hot drinks with high pH values strip away enamel protection, leaving teeth vulnerable to chipping and breaking. Acidic beverages like orange juice, cola, and wine can damage tooth enamel, so you shouldn’t drink them right after visiting the dentist or whitening specialist.
Drinking other beverages, especially those containing caffeine, carbohydrates, or both, can weaken saliva’s protective qualities. Saliva neutralizes acids produced within our bodies; tooth enamel doesn’t receive its usual layer of protection without enough saliva. Instead, wait at least two hours between acidic beverages and whitening treatments.
Although many believe coffee is good for them, it’s one of the worst choices for fighting against staining caused by brightening compounds.
Consuming large quantities of coffee can also cause dehydration and dry mouth. Plus, the tannins contained in brewed coffee can exacerbate the problem of staining.
Tannin is a chemical compound found in plants, seeds, and fruits whose primary function is to protect plant cells from being eaten by animals. A substance called catechol binds strongly to iron atoms in hemoglobin. Caffeine and other alkali substances can increase the concentration of catechol, causing dark spots on teeth.
One study showed that black peppermint extract helped remove surface stains temporarily. Another study indicated that lemon balm improved the quality of whitening results. So if you must drink coffee, limit yourself and consider switching to herbal teas instead of caffeinated versions.
Experiment with several options until you find something that works best for your palate — and your budget.
Research indicates that green tea protects us from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Tea is loaded with flavonoids called polyphenols, which fight free radicals that attack healthy tissues and contribute to aging. They also serve as potent anti-inflammatory agents.
Black tea offers additional health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and inhibiting tumor growth. Reducing the time tea spends in contact with your teeth increases the number of beneficial chemicals present and reduces the amount of potential tooth discoloration.
Steeping longer allows more antioxidant properties to show, meaning less overall exposure. However, taking a break halfway through steeping can improve the taste considerably.
Green tea is considered safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers, while black tea poses a minor threat to either group.
Can I Drink Green Tea While Teeth Whitening?
Green tea has many health benefits that do not need to be missed while whitening your teeth. While it is lighter in color than black tea, green tea can still create a yellowish discoloration or stain across your teeth.
To protect your teeth and not miss out on the various benefits of green tea, it is best to wait for at least one hour before consuming a tea after each whitening session. Like coffee, soda, and other dark liquids, drink with a straw to avoid direct contact between the liquid and your teeth.
There is conflicting information regarding the influence of green tea and tooth discoloration. That said, there are still many unanswered questions that remain concerning the interaction between tea and whiteners.
Even companies offering scientifically tested formulas caution consumers that their products cannot reverse melanization or prove that their teas do not stain consumers’ teeth.
Still, others assert that combining green tea with another herb or ingredient improves the whiteness of teeth. Many of these products also carry hefty price tags ranging from $50-$100, far beyond the reach of average consumers.
The best advice is to drink black or green tea only occasionally because of the stimulant effects and the potential for staining.