I just got my teeth whitened today and absolutely love how they look. I want them to stay this way forever. My dentist warned me that drinks such as coffee and tea will stain my teeth again so I want to make sure I brush carefully to keep them nice and white. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do love a good cup of tea. I read that you shouldn’t brush before you drink tea because it opens the tubules in your teeth and will then cause the staining to absorb faster. However, I’ve also read not to brush after drinking tea because of its acidic nature. So, if you can’t brush before or after, when should you brush when it comes to tea?
I’m glad you are loving your new whiter teeth. It is one of the most affordable ways to give your smile a dramatic makeover and look years younger at the same time. Taking care of it will help the results last longer. It sounds like that’s exactly what you plan to do.
Brushing Your Teeth Before Drinking Tea
Your dentist is correct that beverages like tea and coffee will add stains to teeth. Brushing your teeth before drinking will not cause your teeth to absorb the tea more. The exception to that is after having dental work done. While your toothpaste won’t open the tubules on your teeth, the teeth whitening procedure will. They will stay open for a few days and then the plugs will redevelop and close them. This is also why some people find their teeth a little more sensitive after having their teeth professional whitened.
Since you’ve just had your procedure done, I’d ease up on the tea for a couple of days.
Brushing your Teeth After Drinking Tea
There are some places on the internet where blogs have warned about brushing your teeth immediately after drinking coffee or tea. They reason that tea is acidic, which softens the enamel and so if you brush while your enamel is softer you will wear away enamel. However, tea isn’t really that acidic and if you are brushing with a soft brush, I can’t see this being a problem. Enamel is extremely hard and the small amount of softening that occurs from drinking a mild acid like tea is not going to make it wear away with simple toothbrushing. Besides, your saliva has buffering agents.
The Colgate website, while it recommends waiting 30 minutes after drinking orange juice before you brush to avoid damaging your enamel, actually recommends brushing right after drinking tea to reduce the staining effects of tea. The reason is that the pH of citrus juices can be around 2.0 while the pH of tea is around 4.9 to 5.5, much closer to a neutral 7.0. That would be what I would recommend also. If you can’t do that, rinsing with water right after could help. You can also minimize the staining of the tea by just drinking it rather than slowly sipping or worse, holding or swishing it around in your mouth.
Keeping that Bright White Smile
Because you said you had your whitening done today, I’m guessing you had Zoom Whitening done, which allows you to get your teeth whitened in just one appointment. Your dentist should have supplied you with some at-home trays for follow up treatment. Keep those. Then, in a couple of years, you can ask your dentist for some teeth whitening gel and use that in your tray for a quick touch up. This will allow you to keep that stunning smile for a fraction of the cost.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.