Dr. Brett L. Johnson

General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Could Black Tea Really Fight Oral Bacteria?

Could Black Tea Really Fight Oral Bacteria?

Are you worried about oral bacteria? Researchers claim that drinking at least three cups of tea a day could help strengthen the health of teeth and reduce the risk of decay.

A nice warm cup of tea brings a smile to the face of most people. At Oregon City Dentistry – your Oregon City kids dentist of choice-  we have found according to researchers, it might just make that smile a little bit brighter, as well.

A systematic review of existing studies have discovered that black tea helps to combat two strains of bacteria – Lactobacillus and Streptococcus mutans – that are both linked to tooth decay and gum disease. The most effective ‘dose’ of tea was three to four cups a day, according to researchers involved in the study. Scientists also discovered that black tea continues to fight decay, even if a little sugar is added to each cup.

Green tea seemed to offer a similar effect as drinking black tea, but also helped to prevent bad breath by neutralizing sulfur compounds that contribute to the condition.

Researchers involved in the review who had their work published in the British Nutrition Foundations’ Nutrition Bulletin said that good evidence existed that drinking tea can help protect against tooth loss and gum disease. The evidence specifically points toward black tea as a means of fighting harmful oral bacteria, and that drinking three to four cups a day would be ideal for maximum protection.

So while drinking tea does seem to provide additional protection against the effects of harmful oral bacteria that can erode away tooth enamel, protecting and improving your oral health still requires practicing quality oral hygiene at home.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice daily for two minutes at a time and flossing daily as the ideal way of preventing the development of tooth decay and gum disease. You also need to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings, as well.

While the study found that adding a little sugar to your tea wouldn’t reverse the positive effects the beverage provides, you should still reduce the amount of sugar you consume daily in order to enjoy the best oral health possible. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps to eliminate the effect plaque has on tooth enamel by depriving the bacteria with the fuel it needs to produce harmful acids that cause decay.

Practicing quality oral hygiene at home, eating a balanced diet, and drinking a few cups of tea of day can go a long way towards protecting your oral health for a lifetime.

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