According to a news story from Asia One, there may be a way to prevent your teeth from becoming stained when you drink cup after cup of your favourite tea or coffee. Find out how to protect your teeth from stains resulting from long-term consumption of darkly coloured drinks.

The Problem

It’s commonly known that if you drink black coffee every day, consume many cups of strong tea, or eat too much acidic or richly coloured food, you can actually stain your teeth. Sometimes the stains fade if you change your eating and drinking habits; sometimes they are permanent. A group of researchers set out to determine if a change in the composition of tea—specifically, the addition of milk— would make any difference in the amount of staining on human teeth.

The Experiment

Here’s what the researchers did. They took some extracted human teeth and set them to soak in a solution of tea. They placed some other human teeth in a solution of tea and milk. The teeth soaked for a full 24 hours, and at the end of that time, the research team removed them and laid them out for comparison.

The Results

It was clear right away that the teeth which soaked in the milk tea were less stained than those from the undiluted tea. According to those findings, it would seem that milk can actually help to prevent staining of human teeth.

The Limited Effects

The milk doesn’t actually whiten your teeth, however. It simply acts in a colour capacity, diluting the richer, darker colour of the tea and making it more mild, less prone to staining teeth.

Some dental specialists who work mainly with tooth repair and restoration explain that the caseins (special proteins) in the milk may help to prevent stains but they do not actually enhance the whiteness of teeth.

In addition, the teeth used in the experiment were extracted teeth, or “dead” teeth. The teeth in a human mouth are living, functioning entities that interact with a variety of foods, beverages, saliva, and bacteria every day. For those reasons, the use of milk tea alone wouldn’t necessarily prevent all stains from developing.

The Foods and Drinks to Avoid

Other foods and beverages can have an effect on teeth, reducing whiteness and causing stains. Intensely coloured curried food, acidic food, strong tea, black coffee, carbonated soft drinks, barbeque sauces, citrus fruits, sweets, and red or white wines can all stain the teeth through overuse. It’s best to enjoy these foods and drinks in moderation.

The Treatment Options

If you notice stains developing on your teeth, consider visiting Orchard Scotts Dental immediately. Don’t wait until the issue becomes potentially irreversible; come to your Singapore dentist’s office for help. Your dentist can advise you on the extent of the problem and explain some lifestyle changes that might minimise any further staining.

At Orchard Scotts Dental, we also offer teeth whitening. These services can be very effective in restoring the natural colour of your teeth or improving it to a whole new level of gleaming whiteness. If the stains on your teeth are too far advanced, your Singapore dentist may suggest porcelain veneers instead. Veneers are thin shells that slip over your teeth and mimic their look and shape, giving you a brand new, beautiful smile.