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Tea and Your Teeth

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Whether you drink green, black, white or oolong varieties of tea, there are umpteen studies stating the health benefits of the eastern drink. However, according to a recent report, tea has a secret downside: it’s a potential dental disaster just like soda and sports drinks.

When Temple University scientists soaked human teeth in unsweetened green and black tea, they started eroding after 16 weeks. While that’s a downer, teeth soaked in soda showed physical changes by just the second week of the study. (Note that black tea triggered erosion more rapidly than green tea.)

The mechanism: Tea exposes your pearly whites to harmful acids, which strip the hard, protective layer, called the enamel, off of each tooth. According to the study’s lead author, the seriousness surrounding erosion is far more worrisome than tooth decay, since erosion affects all teeth at once.

Try staying away from citric-flavored teas, which contain higher amounts of acid—it’s why lemon juice was one of the worst offenders in the study. Still concerned with all the beverages-in-question? Use a straw, which allows the liquid to bypass your teeth. Let the straw rest in the back of your mouth.

About The Author

David Schipper – David began writing for CorePerformance.com in 2008, after spending six years at Men's Health magazine digging up the newest scientific research in health, weight loss, nutrition, muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

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Tags: Beverages