We can all use a little jumpstart in the morning, and coffee, America’s drink of choice, gets the job done. We know it stains our teeth and contributes to the abominable coffee breath syndrome, yet Starbucks continues its worldwide reign. What if I told you that ditching the coffee and switching to green tea could improve your oral health and reduce your trips to the dentist? Incentified?
Green Tea’s Got Roots
Hundreds of millions of people drink tea. It’s second in popularity only to water. Ancient Chinese and Indian cultures have consumed green tea for ages, and it’s been used for such medicinal purposes as healing wounds, improving heart health, regulating body temperature, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.
Most Americans consume black tea, which contains far less antioxidants and far more caffeine than green tea. The unfermented green tea’s leaves contain the highest concentration of the powerful antioxidants polyphenol and catechin, which have been found useful in the treatment of high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and more.
Your Mouth on Green Tea
Extensive research has verified green tea’s power to heal the body and the mouth. Studies show that consuming 1 to 6 cups of green tea daily can impact your oral health in the following ways:
1. Reduces Periodontal Inflammation: A 2009 study performed by The American Academy of Periodontology revealed that patients who drank at least one cup of green tea per day had superior periodontal health compared to those who did not drink green tea.
2. Kills Oral Cancer Cells: Evidence shows that polyphenol, a powerful antioxidant found in green tea, neutralizes cancer-causing free radicals and can actually kill existing oral cancer cells.
3. Inhibits the Formation of Dental Plaque: Another study tells us that drinking green tea or rinsing with a green-tea extract can reduce the formation of plaque and the occurrence of dental caries.
4. Repels Odor-Causing Bacteria: A study performed at the University of Illinois found that components in green tea can inhibit the growth of oral bacteria and interfere with the production of hydrogen sulfide (the culprit behind the rotten-egg smell).
Why not make 2011 the year to dump coffee and go green? Your mouth and your dentist will thank you.