Does Green Tea Stain Your Teeth? How and Ways to Prevent It?


Tea Facts /

Green tea is well known as a healthy substitute for many other beverages. But if you’re a green tea drinker who worries about stains on your teeth, then this guide is for you.

Many beverages affect your teeth, and so the following may prompt you to reduce the number of cups per day of Green tea or switch to a better tea or coffee substitute if you prefer having white shiny teeth.

Here’s the quick guide answer, then we’ll get into more details…

Green tea can stain teeth into a dull shade of gray and can be irreversible (stubborn stains) if not addressed. Green tea has a lower pH level than Black tea, which is in a range of 7-10 so causes less acidic exposure and demineralization, which is why Green tea does not show as a yellow stain.

But that’s no reason not to try it. So if you want to start drinking green tea, then here’s everything you need to know about green tea, but here let’s move on to more detail…

Does green tea stain your teeth?

As with many types of teas, green tea does stain your teeth. But in terms of the intensity or concentration of staining, green tea stains teeth in more of a dull gray – and mainly among regular green tea consumers.

This means that the lesser amount of green tea you have in a day, the more chances of having any obvious teeth stains.  

However, once a regular green tea drinker develops this gray dull or gray teeth stain, it’s quite a task to remove them.

This is because although the color of Green tea teeth stains is more on the neutral side – when comparing to the bright yellow stains many beverages leave in the teeth, green tea stains teeth in a less obvious, but perhaps a more irreversible way.

Yet again, all in all, or by comparison to many other types of tea, green tea stains teeth to a much lesser degree, so you’d have to be quite a major green tea drinker for it to start to show.

green tea

How green tea stains teeth 

To begin with, there are two types of teeth stain, intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic teeth stain

strangely, Intrinsic teeth stains are often derived from trauma, nutritional deficiencies and cavities, and other internal health conditions – and not really because of green tea.

So if you have a prolonged period of teeth staining, perhaps even before beginning to drink green tea, then it could be due to an intrinsic teeth stain. 

Extrinsic teeth stain

Extrinsic teeth stain on the other hand is the one which is influenced by one’s consumption of food and beverages.

This is caused by the components and characteristics of elements in the food you consume, and your beverage intake.

For green tea, these teeth stains mainly come from elements such as tannins, acidity, and Chromogens (These are common for many types of tea).

Believe it or not, when comparing how green tea causes teeth stains alongside other types of tea, then it’s worth pointing out that black tea tends to cause the least teeth staining or discoloration.

That just proves that knowledge is power, so its good to know why green tea stains teeth…

Why green tea stains teeth

Green tea has plant components such as Chromogens, Tannins, and Acidity. Out of these elements, it’s the two elements of tannins and acidity that organically contribute to teeth staining.

So let’s start with tannins, the tannin in tea is the element that increases a tea’s potential for staining teeth.

This also means that the potential of staining teeth with Green tea will increase –  depending on how often you consume green tea on a daily basis.

In other words, having a cup of Green tea once in two days or fewer is unlikely to bring about any obvious teeth staining.

On the other hand, the acidity nature of the tea contributes to altering the pH balance in the mouth.

This acidity level will also break down the enamel on your teeth. When enamel is broken down, this allows pigmented molecules to more easily deposit and attach to your teeth. 

This whole process takes time, and a great deal of green tea – but that’s how teeth staining occurs with green tea. 

The reason Green tea stains tend to be a dull gray – and less evident in comparison to many other yellowish teeth stains… is that green tea has a lower composition of acidity, next to black tea.

It has a pH scale of 7-10. This is why it contributes less to a yellowish stain and more to a grey stain – and is less likely to cause teeth staining in occasional green tea consumers.

Heres the Ph scale comparison chart for common tea varieties..

pH acidity scale for different teas

TeaAverage pH level
black4.9 – 5.5
green7-10
chamomile, mint, fennel6-7
lemon3
rosehip, blackberry2-3
pH Acidic Scale for different teas

source: healthline

The acidic composition – and it’s level of exposure to the teeth supports demineralization.

Demineralization is another aspect that causes yellow teeth stains. So with less acidic exposure green tea causes no demineralization. This is also why green tea teeth stains are dull gray and not yellowish.

You might also be interested to know what staining other teas do…

Does herbal tea stain teeth?

Does Rooibos tea stain teeth?

Does peppermint tea stain teeth?

Does Green tea expire?

does green tea stain teeth

How to prevent teeth stains from green tea 

  • First things first, rinse your mouth right after a cup of green tea. To a large extent, this will rinse off the majority of acidic elements accumulated around your teeth. This is also a piece of good advice to follow for any acidic drink in general.
  • If you’re in the comfort of your own home, you have the easy option of brushing your teeth after a cup of green tea.
  • Floss daily like many dentists advise. Flossing daily will not only help prevent teeth staining and discoloration due to green tea, but will also help to keep gums strong and healthy. 
  • If you’re a frequent green tea drinker and staining is becoming a problem, then you can go for professional teeth whitening treatment. Oral Prophylaxis is a teeth cleaning procedure that many people undergo to get rid of teeth staining that comes along with green tea. This is usually carried out once every six months in a single treatment.

The drawback of undergoing professional treatments to prevent teeth staining from green tea is that you’ll need to keep coming back to the dentist once every six months or so, and of course, which can build up the cost.

So it’s always better – and cheaper – to follow the easy steps above after having a cup of Green tea – or even just daily.

To finish…

Hopefully, this has answered the question does green tea stain teeth? Let us know what your experience with green tea is, particularly if you’re an avid green tea drinker. And what measures you take to guard against teeth staining.