Does Peppermint Tea Stain Teeth? Which Ones, How to Avoid It

Tea Facts /

Even the word “Peppermint tea” sounds as refreshing as it tastes, and there’s little that can go wrong with having peppermint tea.

Whether it’s an iced peppermint tea in the summer or a hot peppermint tea in the winter, it’s the tea for all seasons!

But sipping on a cup of peppermint tea every day – or more than one – can of course raise the question does peppermint tea stain teeth?

This article will guide you through this and more. Starting with the quick takeaway answer…

Does Peppermint Tea Stain Teeth? Peppermint tea does not stain teeth, mainly because it is a type of Tisane (not tea) and is also caffeine-free, with low levels of tannins and a neutral (pH 6-7) level of acidity. But, if the neutral pH level intensifies when making the tea or through other acidic additions, it can cause teeth stains.

That’s the quick answer, but that’s not all, so let’s dive into more details…

Does peppermint tea stain teeth? 

In general, no, peppermint tea doesn’t stain teeth, but there can be a few minor exceptions.

First, peppermint tea is not a true tea variety but a Tisane. True tea varieties or “true tea” comes from the amazing “Camellia Sinensis”. 

A Tisane is an infusion – or decoction made from flowers, shrubs, herbs and any other plant other than the true tea plant “Camellia Sinensis”.

Peppermint is a mix of two plants from the mint family, namely “water mint” and “Spearmint”.

Peppermint tea is made by steeping water mint, or spearmint leaves into hot/cold water, which allows the water to infuse the flavor of the mint.

peppermint tea and leaves
peppermint tea from peppermint leaves

This is why some teas like peppermint are now moving towards the trend of being called “herbal tea” or “infusion tea”.

As such originating from a plant other than the true variety alone makes Peppermint tea stand out from many tea properties that can cause teeth stains.

However, peppermint to some extent has certain properties of any beverages that can cause teeth stains. Yet again, these elements don’t have the intensity or probability of causing stains as normal black, green, or white tea does.

So now let’s see how and why peppermint tea prevents teeth stains and the rare exceptions which can cause teeth stains.

How Peppermint prevents teeth stains 

The properties of tea that cause tannings come from caffeine, tannins, and other compositions of acids and catechins.

Fortunately in peppermint tea doesn’t have most of these elements or have a neutral composition of certain elements, which limits the potential of teeth stains to a great extent.

Alongside, how tea is processed has a major impact on teeth stains. This is because the quality of the tea leaves processing can release more or less of teeth staining elements.

Thankfully since peppermint tea doesn’t come from the true tea plant, the release of such elements during the processing of peppermint leaves is removed to a great extent.

But still, some other staining elements are released when processing peppermint leaves, which has no intense impact on teeth stains or in causing teeth stains.

Moreover, many prefer adding fresh peppermint tea leaves for their peppermint tea. This also to a great extent avoids any staining elements that release when processing peppermint tea leaves.

peppermint tea
peppermint tea

Why Peppermint tea prevents teeth stains and exceptions

The main reasons why peppermint tea prevents teeth stains is that it has zero caffeine, low content of tannins, a moderate level of acid, and no intense staining elements like catechins or so are released when processing peppermint leaves.

For these reasons, peppermint tea prevents teeth stains in the same way that rooibos tea prevents teeth stains – both of them being tisanes.

The exception as to why peppermint tea can stain teeth is down to the acid content in peppermint tea.

Rooibos tea has a very low acid composition, by contrast, mint-based tea has a moderate level of acidity which, in rare circumstances, has the potential to stain teeth.

The acidity of any tea is determined by the pH scale, anything below 4 is considered very acidic.

Here’s a table showing the acidic range of popular teas.

Teas and Herbal TeaspH Level
Green Tea7-10
Black Tea6-7
Ph Acidic level of popular teas

Peppermint has an acid-range of 6-7, which is neutral. However, depending on the following, peppermint tea can get more acidic.

  • How long the tea is steeped for 
  • How diluted the tea is (more concentrated means more acidic)
  • Additives like citrus flavoring, milk, herbs, and even other types of true tea varieties i.e. from the Camellia Sinensis plant.
  • The type of peppermint leaves or tea

And depending on how “sour” the peppermint tea gets, the more likely it is to be acidic.

The connection between the acidic content of peppermint tea and the teeth stains is that the more exposure your teeth get to acid, the more it weakens the enamel of the teeth.

Exposure to acid that breaks down tooth enamel, enables discoloring from foods and drinks. This causes teeth stains that are yellow and dull and also other discolorations like those from green tea.

And in the long run, more acid exposure to your teeth will eventually wear away the enamel causing teeth erosion. 

Tip – diluting peppermint tea can reduce the acidic content in the tea, and removes the potential teeth stains that can occur. 

How peppermint tea could stain teeth

If you’re experiencing teeth stains from regularly consuming peppermint tea, there’s only one real possible cause for it.

When peppermint tea is mixed with actual true tea like black, green tea, or white tea, often to give that extra flavor boost for your taste and perhaps for added caffeine effect, then peppermint tea can potentially stain your teeth.

If you’re making organic peppermint tea out of fresh peppermint leaves or processed peppermint leaves only, then teeth stains are just not possible.

So in that case, be sure to check the ingredients and nutrient profile behind the package before purchasing peppermint tea.

The nutrient profile should show the amount of caffeine content and the ingredients list will have a mix of tea leaves – if there are any additions.

You might also like to know what other teas do to your teeth? …

Does green tea stain teeth?

Does herbal tea stain teeth?

Does rooibos tea stain teeth?

So finally…

I hope this has helped to answer the question does peppermint tea stain teeth – and perhaps provided some other information too. I’d be interested to hear other people’s experiences with this, so feel free to comment below.