Fancy a cuppa? Pros & cons of tea & coffee.

Fancy a cuppa? Pros & cons of tea & coffee.

Amplify’d from www.ahm.com.au

Most people consume at least one hot drink every day. The most popular beverages are tea and coffee, but herbal tea is also a favourite. While the occasional cuppa is doing no harm, what are the long-term effects of drinking tea and coffee every day?

The bad news

The most noticeable impact of drinking tea and coffee is staining. Tannic acid creates the dark colour in both tea and coffee which causes the enamel, the hard white coating on teeth, to stain brown. The more you drink, the heavier the stain. Tannic acid is also present in red wine and some fruits.

An easy solution to avoid staining is to rinse with a glass of water after every cup. Water neutralises the acids left in your mouth after drinking, and washes away tannins. You could also:

  • wipe the teeth with a tissue
  • sip iced tea and coffee through a straw, which will only stain the back teeth
  • remember to brush and floss at least twice a day.

The good news

Tea and coffee can reduce the likelihood of dental caries, or tooth decay. This is, of course, only the case if the drink is unsweetened – adding sugar does not contribute to better dental health.

Unsweetened roasted coffee can reduce the likelihood of dental bacteria.

  • In one study1, roasted coffee inhibited the growth of the S. mutans bacteria, one of the strains responsible for tooth decay
  • In another study2, coffee was shown to reduce the way bacterial cells stuck to the surface of teeth, which in turn lessened the likelihood of caries (tooth decay).

Tea also inhibits the growth of several strains of bacteria, including the kind that cause tooth decay. Tea also contains polyphenols, naturally occurring chemicals which can reduce the formation of plaque.

  • Not only does this reduce the likelihood of cavities, but polyphenols also decrease your chances of having bad breath
  • Studies show that the polyphenols in tea also help prevent atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits cause narrowing of the arteries
  • Polyphenols also have strong antioxidant properties, and can protect cells against damage caused by free radicals.

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