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Matcha, with its helpful antibacterial and antioxidant properties, has skyrocketed in popularity, with many stores, coffee shops, and restaurants offering matcha in various forms.
Despite the proven health benefits of drinking matcha, many people are still wary of it due to the pervasive myth that matcha will stain teeth.
Matcha has a variety of oral health benefits and does not directly stain teeth; rather, it may stain the plaque on your teeth.
It does, however, contain acidic tannins that can build up on your teeth, but as long as you are vigilant with brushing and maintaining good oral hygiene shortly after consuming matcha tea, you are not likely to stain your teeth.
Despite the growing popularity of matcha among health-conscious people, there are still a lot of myths floating around about the effects matcha has on your teeth, and this article dives deep to find the truth about the relationship between matcha and your teeth.
Can Matcha Stain Your Teeth Over Time?
Well, yes and no. Matcha doesn’t directly stain your teeth the same way that other teas, coffee, and wine will. Instead, matcha can attach to and discolor the plaque on your teeth with a telltale green color.
Matcha does also contain acidic tannins, which can make your teeth more porous and expose them to a higher risk of staining, but as long as you stay on top of brushing regularly within 4-12 hours of consuming matcha and rinse your mouth after drinking, you should notice little-to-no discoloration of the teeth as a result of consuming matcha.
You should also maintain good flossing habits to prevent the buildup of those tannins in between your teeth. Adding cream or milk can help provide a buffer between your teeth and those acidic tannins, preventing them at least in part from latching onto your teeth.
Are There Oral Health Benefits of Matcha
Many people believe that because matcha contains caffeine, it must be bad for your teeth, but the truth is that matcha is great for your oral health. Matcha has antibacterial properties that prevent the development of bad bacteria in your mouth.
These bacteria feed on the sugars in food, producing acidic byproducts that damage the enamel on the surface of your teeth, leading to tooth decay.
The catechin in matcha has been linked to oral health benefits in several studies that suggest matcha can reduce the reproduction rates of bad bacteria.
Matcha also helps fight bad breath with several deodorizing properties that help keep your breath smelling fresh.
Another oral health benefit of matcha is that it may prevent the formation of cancer-causing cells in the mouth. In addition, these antioxidant effects can also help prevent the spread of already existing cancerous cells.
Matcha contains anti-fungal properties that are good for warding off and helping address the buildup of Oral Thrush that can form on the teeth or tongue.
Don’t Drink Matcha After Teeth Whitening
Newly whitened teeth are particularly susceptible to staining, so you should avoid drinking matcha directly after a teeth-whitening procedure.
The aforementioned acidic tannins mess with the bleaching agent in the teeth-whitening formula and are much more likely to stain your teeth immediately after a procedure.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that matcha is a bad idea in general. A lot of liquids like coffees, teas, and wine should be avoided shortly after your teeth are whitened, and matcha is perhaps the least likely of any tea drink to actually stain your teeth.
Culinary Matcha Has Different Effects
Ceremonial matcha is prepared differently than culinary matcha, and both can have different effects on your teeth. Ceremonial matcha is of high quality and pure, prepared to highlight the matcha flavor and tends to be more nuanced.
On the other hand, culinary matcha is typically a lower quality to accommodate being put in specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. It’s important to consider the difference between the accompanying ingredients.
Culinary matcha can be paired with lots of sugar (aka food for those bad bacteria) and is highly concentrated, making it more of a risk when it comes to teeth staining.
Is Matcha Better Than Coffee for Teeth?
Not only does matcha contain much less addictive caffeine than coffee, but it is also much better for your overall oral health. It contains the antibacterial EGCG, which helps prevent the growth of cavities and can also help reduce the risk of gingivitis.
Does Matcha Help Whiten Teeth?
While matcha has a wide range of health benefits, it doesn’t really do anything to whiten your teeth. It can, however, be argued that the oral health benefits of matcha in conjunction with good oral hygiene habits can maintain your beautiful smile longer.
Is Matcha Good for a Tooth Infection?
The high catechin content (most notably the EGCG) helps prevent cavity formation and periodontal disease, making matcha a good preventative measure to take to maintain your oral health.
Matcha isn’t medicine, and if you notice an issue with your teeth, you should seek out the advice of your dentist.
- Without a doubt, matcha is good for your teeth and oral health. Not only does it contain powerful antibacterial components that stop bad bacteria buildup on your teeth and ward off disease, but it can also prevent bad breath and the formation of cancerous cells in the mouth.
- Paired with its host of other health benefits to the heart, brain, liver, and skin, matcha is a powerhouse of a drink with a dynamic and unique flavor to boot.
- People often assume that any kind of tea must be bad for your teeth, and most teas (including matcha) do contain acidic tannins that can stain the plaque on your teeth, but the presence of green matcha teeth stains is more often an indicator that you’re not properly tending to your oral hygiene.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking to rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth to prevent plaque buildup and floss regularly.
While drinking matcha requires a little bit of maintenance to keep your pearly whites, the bountiful health benefits far outweigh the minimal downsides.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.