Can adding milk to your tea prevent staining?

Adding milk to your tea could be the secret to whiter teeth.

Sparkling pearly whites are what give movie stars such dazzling smiles, so it's no wonder we all want them too! Unfortunately, there are several foods and drinks that can stain teeth and make them appear yellower – and tea is one of the most common culprits. 

Tea might actually be worse than coffee when it comes to staining your teeth.

Tea and your teeth 

Tea might actually be worse than coffee when it comes to staining your teeth because of its high tannin content. The dark tannins in tea are what give it a bitter taste, and also what leave stains on your teeth. The darker your tea, the higher the risk of staining, so black tea can have the greatest impact, while herbal or green teas aren't so bad. 

If you don't want to give up your black tea in the morning, there are several things you can do to help reduce the amount of staining on your teeth. One of the most effective things is to add dash of milk to your cup, a study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene has discovered.

That cup of tea could be staining your teeth!That cup of tea could be staining your teeth!

 How does adding milk to your teeth reduce staining?

The study revealed that adding a splash of milk to tea can reduce its ability to stain teeth. Casein, a protein found in milk, attaches to these tannin molecules and prevents them from sticking to your teeth. 

Doctor Ava Chow, who led the study, stated that "The magnitude of the colour change observed in our experiments is comparable to the colour change seen by vital bleaching products and more effective than whitening toothpastes." 

The higher the fat content in the milk you use, the better the protein will bind to the tannins and the greater the stain reduction benefits. It's also important to note that non-dairy milks such as soy or almond don't contain casein, so they won't have the same effect on your teeth. 

Avid tea drinkers may still notice some staining on their teeth even when adding milk and keeping on top of their oral health. In this case, the best and easiest solution is to pop in to see us for a professional whitening treatment. Our whitening procedure is a safe way to remove the stains from your teeth, returning them to the shade of white they are naturally. 

To find out more, or to book an appointment, get in touch with our team today.