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How to Whiten Your Teeth When You Drink a Ton of Tea

It's no secret that here at Eat This, Not That! we're big fans of tea—test panelists lost up to 10 pounds on my The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse. Sipping the brew eases stress, banishes bloat and can help you lose weight—it's hard to find another drink that can claim that.
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But black teas, like chai, do have a downside: They can stain teeth—even more so than coffee. Like red wine, black tea contains a great deal of tannins, dark-colored bitter plant substances that bind to teeth, leaving behind a yellow tint. But fear not, black tea lovers, this doesn't mean you need to switch to another variety if you want to keep your pearly whites, well, white. There's a simple, science-backed fix: add some cow's milk to your mug—at least that's what a recent report in the Journal of Dental Hygiene suggests.

To come to this discovery, researchers analysed the color of extracted human teeth before putting them into a solution of either tea or tea with milk for 24 hours. At the end of 24 hours, the researchers re-analyzed the color of the teeth and discovered that the chompers in the weight-loss tea and milk mixture were far more vibrant than their tea-only counterparts. In fact, the researchers say that the addition of milk is far more effective than whitening toothpaste and equally effective as some bleaching products at keeping teeth white.

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The research team says the casein, a type of milk protein, is to thank. It binds to the stain-causing tannins, which keeps teeth from yellowing. Gotta love science when it keeps you looking your best.

 

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