My morning doesn’t start until I’ve had my first cup of tea. How bad is this for my teeth?
Tea and coffee are safe to drink in moderation. However, over time, large amounts can cause staining and damage. In addition to caffeine, tea and coffee contain chromogens, deeply pigmented molecules that adhere to dental enamel. They also contain tannins, which boost a chromogen molecule’s ability to attach to dental enamel. Black tea is worse than black coffee, because coffee is lower in tannins.
How can I protect my teeth from damage?
The enamel on our teeth is hard, but as we all know, it can be chipped and cracked. In addition to following the instructions of your hygienist, here are some other ways you can protect your teeth:
- Avoid chewing ice, cracking nut shells, or opening packages with your teeth.
- Avoid “hard foods” such as popcorn.
- Limit acidic soft drinks and sugary foods that stick to your teeth.
- Decide against tongue and lip piercings, which can fracture teeth and increase infection risk.