Can You Drink Tea When Whitening Teeth?


Whitening your teeth is a hot topic these days, and there are plenty of products on the market to help you out. But can you drink tea while whitening?

If you’ve ever had stained or discolored teeth, you know that not all over-the-counter toothpaste work 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 involve using hydrogen peroxide to lighten 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 themselves, but because their consumption causes plaque build up 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 kind 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.

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 brushing your teeth. When possible, 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 tend to 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 any other kind of beverage — especially ones containing caffeine, carbohydrates, or both — can also weaken saliva’s protective qualities. Saliva neutralizes acids produced within our bodies, and without enough saliva present, tooth enamel doesn’t receive its usual layer of protection. Instead, wait at least two hours between acidic beverages and whitening treatments.

Although many people 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, resulting in a 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 to form 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 different 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 amount of 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 of the antioxidant properties to show through, 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 yellow-ish discoloration or stain across your teeth.

To protect your teeth and not miss out on the various benefits that come from green tea, it is best to wait for at least one hour before consuming a cup of tea after each whitening session. Just like with coffee, soda, and other dark liquids, get in the habit of drinking 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.

Jason Smith

I am a Marine who now works as a Web Developer. I have five US States left to visit. I like whiskey, wine, and coffee, soaking in hot springs or in my hot tub.

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