Most likely, you’ve heard of the health benefits of green tea to nearly ad nauseum. Green tea’s antioxidants have been found to eliminate factors that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and heart disease. These antioxidants are not unlike the antioxidants found in grapes, berries, red wine, and dark chocolate.
But did you know green tea can improve your dental health as well? It can actually prevent bacteria in your mouth from causing dental problems.
When you eat food, both the saliva in your mouth and resident bacteria help break down the food for swallowing and digestion. The bacteria themselves metabolize the sugars and simple starches in the food, thereby making them an essential part of the digestive process. Such bacteria always live within your mouth, and they’re harmless as long as they’re in moderate amounts, because when they breakdown food, they release small amounts of acid. As long as there aren’t many bacteria together, the amount of acid they release is harmless.
If the bacteria ever start to clump together, however, they will release large amounts of acid. If the bacteria clump on your teeth, the acid will cause cavities; if the bacteria clump on your gums, the acid will cause gum disease.
Green tea can actually stop the bacteria from creating this acid, thereby effectively lowering your risk of developing either cavities or gum disease each time you drink it. If you have a lower risk for cavities and gum disease, that means fewer costly trips to the dentist as well. Drinking it obviously won’t replace the benefits of a toothbrush, but every little bit helps, right?
So why not add some green tea to your daily routine? Drink some green tea after lunch or in the afternoon for a low-caffeine refresher. Isn’t it nice to know that it will help fight cancer, heart disease, and dental health problems as well?