Some of us can’t imagine starting our day with a cup or two of hot tea, but may worry that the stuff is likely to stain our teeth. Actually, black and green teas contain compounds called polyphenols that slow the growth of the bad bacteria that can cause both cavities and gum disease. Researchers think that these polyphenols also prevent bacteria from clumping together to form deposits.
In one study out of the University of Illinois at Chicago, people who rinsed their mouths with black tea for one minute, 10 times per day, had significantly less plaque buildup than the control group. That’s a lot of times to rinse, but rest assured that whenever you do drink tea, you’ll be improving your oral health and fighting bad breath at the same time.