Herbal Teas and Your Teeth: What You Need to Know

Posted on: 28 September 2016


Everybody knows that drinking regular caffeinated tea can have a negative impact on your teeth causing bad breath, staining and discolouration. But what about herbal teas? They have many established general health benefits, but what effect do they have on your dental health? 

The good news 

Drinking herbal alternatives to black tea reduces the risk of discolouration. This is because the chemical agent in caffeinated tea which causes staining (tannin) is absent from herbal alternatives. People who make the switch from regular to herbal tea will often notice an increased brightness to their smile as a result. 

Properties of certain teas may also help to address other oral health issues. For example, mint and eucalyptus teas have certain antibacterial properties which can help to reduce levels of oral bacteria and tackle bad breath. Similarly, chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that could soothe damaged or bleeding gums.  

The bad news

Sometimes manufacturers can add flavourings to their teas. If you are buying herbal teabags, it is always a good idea to check the ingredients for additives such as flavourings and sugars that could have negative effects on your teeth. 

Also, watch out for fruit teas. Though often very tasty, these can have high sugar content. They may also contain fruit acids or highly acidic flavourings. High acid levels can erode tooth enamel,which can potentially lead to serious dental problems. If you enjoy fruit teas, a good idea is to drink them cold as this will allow you to drink them more quickly meaning less exposure for your teeth to harmful acid or sugar content. 

For a healthy mouth and healthy body, the best way to consume herbal teas is to make the infusions yourself. This way you can carefully control what goes into your cup. This may sound like a lot of work, but it's actually really easy. Simply grab a fresh handful of your chosen herb- mint, rosemary, etc.- and infuse in boiling water for 2-5 minutes. No additives, no flavourings - just a delicious herbal infusion,

If you are concerned about the effects a particular drink or foodstuff is having on your teeth drink a glass of water after you've finished drinking/ eating, this will flush out the harmful substances and may reduce potentially harmful effects. 

If you are worried about the effects that your diet may be having on your oral heath, contact your dentist and book an appointment today. For more information, see a website such as http://www.finkelsteindentist.com.au.