Green tea is a common substitute for coffee as it contains lesser amount of caffeine — a good choice to lower down the coffee addiction.

It also contains high amount of antioxidants that promote weight loss making it a popular drink on a daily basis.

However, the compounds found in tea could stain your teeth over time.

Don’t you love that perfect smile you always see on advertisement with white and shiny teeth?

3 Compounds That Causes Teeth Discoloration

There’re 3 main compounds found in food and drinks that are known to cause teeth stains.


A colorless compound that could become a pigment-producing substance that cling to tooth enamel and stain teeth.


Are water-soluble polyphenols that’s widely distributed in plant foods including tea, coffee, chocolate and wine. They’re responsible for the bitter taste in the drink. Tannins help chromogen to stick to your enamel making it more vulnerable to stain more quickly.

Catechins — the most important group of polyphenols in tea — is a class of tannins, they’re antioxidants and one of the reasons behind the many health benefits associated with green tea.


Acids cause tooth enamel to become softer and rougher, making it easier for stains to set in on the enamel and leaves your tooth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay, sensitivity and discoloring.

Does Green Tea Stain Your Teeth More Than Coffee?

Being a common substitute drink for coffee to fix up caffeine addiction, one of the most commonly asked question is does green tea stain teeth more than coffee?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Short answer, yes.

Which tea doesn’t stain teeth?

Unfortunately, all types of tea could cause your teeth to discolor and it could have a more detrimental effect on teeth discoloration compared to coffee.

Like coffee, tea contains several compounds — tannins in particular — that’s known to stain teeth. The tooth enamel could absorb tannins in tea that leads to discoloration of teeth.

Although tea is considered a rich source of tannins in general, the concentration of tannins in different types of tea varies greatly and affected by the way the tea is produced — the oxidation process.

Tannins gives tea a darker coloring so darker color teas such as black tea  has higher tannins concentration compared to oolong, white tea and green tea.

So why green tea stains teeth worse than coffee? It all comes down to the intake frequency.

Tea — ice tea or brewed tea — is more flavorful, soothing and easier to drink, it could be drink at any time of the day. If you consume 4-5 cups of tea, stain on teeth will be visible over time.

How to Remove Tea Stain From Teeth?

So what happened if you have tea stain on teeth or you simply want to prevent tea stain from teeth? Good news is you don’t have to give up your tee or coffee altogether.

Follow this methods to minimize the tooth discoloration from drinking tea.

Cutting back your intake frequency: If you drink more than 5 cups daily, it’s time to cut down.

Add a splash of milk to your tea: A study by Dr. Chow shows that casein, the main protein in milk, binds to the tannins and prevent staining.

Use a straw or vented lid: Try using straw when you drink tea next time or drink from a vented lid. This helps the liquid to pass by your teeth quickly and minimizing contacts with the teeth.

Brush your teeth right away: Brush your teeth after drinking tea or coffee or if you consume any food on the list above that causes teeth stain. Try to keep a toothbrush at work.

Rinse your mouth: If you don’t have time to brush your teeth for some reason, rinse your mouth or drink water right away as it could clear the sugars and acids from around your teeth to prevent staining afterwards.


By now you should know that drinking green tea stains your teeth and it actually causes teeth to stain much worse than coffee.

If you consume tea on ~daily basis~, always remember to follow the method above to prevent teeth stain so you don’t have to give up drinking green tea and enjoy the health benefits that come with it.