written by Cassandra Vincent
Yes. As much as we love tea it makes keeping our pearly whites white a challenge. Studies show tea is a benefit to teeth as the catechin polyphenols* kill or reduce cavity-causing bacteria and limit plaque build up. Nice. Still, what about the dreaded yellowing? Now of course there are whiteners, but what can be done on a daily basis to prevent build up?
It may sound strange but I have taken to using a glass straw. Yes. A straw. Now it may not sound like an elegant solution, but since I started using it my dentist has even remarked on how much reduced the staining has been. Result! Now I don’t carry one with me to tea shops, though it isn’t half bad an idea. I do use one every morning with my 20 oz cup of brown joy. I find glass to be a better option over metal and certainly over plastic. The glass conducts less of the heat to the lips so I’ve never burned myself and there are no health concerns with glass like with plastic (is it BPH free? Is that enough? Tea tastes gross in plastic. etc.) This is also a help to sensitive teeth.
They come in varying lengths, clear or colored, with or without a bend and some even have decorative elements which also help prevent the straw from rolling when placed down. I use a pipe cleaner to cleanse mine but some are sold with a cleaning brush that fits their diameter. Yes, they are available in different diameters. For tea I would suggest avoiding the boba/smoothie size straws. So if the price of whitening your teeth is getting you down consider a glass straw. After all we aren’t going to stop drinking our tea or stop smiling.
* want to get geeky on aspects of tea compositon? Go here: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/tea/tearefs.html
check out more on tea and teeth studies here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010523072047.htm http://news.discovery.com/human/health/green-tea-teeth-dental.htm http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117434&page=1
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