How to Choose a Tea that Won’t Stain Your Teeth

tea on bamboo board

Although tea is probably the most popular beverage in the world outside of water, the dark tannins contained within it are well-known for giving giving teeth a yellowish tinge.

This article will discuss some types of tea that are unlikely to stain your teeth, types of tea you may want to avoid, as well as give some recommendations on how to keep your teeth white while indulging in tea culture.

Types of Tea

There are many different types and flavors to choose from when it comes to tea, but what if you’re looking for a tea that won’t stain your teeth?

You May Want to Consider

  • White Tea: White tea is made from the youngest leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It has a delicate flavor and is low in caffeine.
    Green Tea: Green tea is processed a little differently than white tea. It has a slightly more intense flavor and typically contains more caffeine than white tea.
  • Herbal Tea: Herbal teas are not true tea, as they are not made from the Camellia sinensis plant, but they are usually caffeine-free and have a wide range of flavors. The lack of dark tannins in most herbal teas make them an excellent option for those who want to avoid teeth-staining beverages. For example, a light herbal tea such as chamomile is very unlikely to cause any staining.

You May Want to Avoid

  • Oolong Tea: Oolong tea is made from partially oxidized leaves. It has a complex flavor that can be sweet or savory, depending on the variety. While some of the greener oolong teas are light enough not to stain your teeth, the same can’t be said about the darker, more heavily oxidized varieties.
  • Black Tea: Black tea is made from fully oxidized leaves. This results in the tea being rather dark in color, which could possibly result in staining your teeth. Black tea typically has a robust flavor and is known to be high in caffeine.
  • Puer Tea: While young sheng puer teas are light in color and may not run a huge risk of staining your teeth, aged sheng puer or especially shou puer are very dark in color and could very likely stain your teeth.

General Rules of Thumb

There are a few general rules of thumb to follow regarding tea and teeth:

  • Choose lighter-colored teas over dark ones. Teas such as white tea, green tea, or jade oolong teas are much less likely to stain your teeth compared to black tea or puer tea.
  • Avoid teas that are high in tannins. These compounds are partially responsible for tea’s astringent taste and could potentially stain your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth after drinking any tea, tannin-rich or not.

How To Avoid Staining Your Teeth

There are several ways to keep your teeth from staining, no matter what tea you drink. If you’re worried about staining, try these tips:

  1. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking tea. This can help remove any residual tea that could potentially stain your teeth as well as help mitigate any remaining acidity, but it’s worth noting that tea is typically less acidic than most fruit juice.
  2. Brushing your teeth regularly will help remove any surface stains that may have already formed.
  3. Using a whitening toothpaste can help remove existing stains and prevent new ones from forming. Some people find that baking soda toothpaste works well.


There are plenty of options if you’re looking for a tea that won’t stain your teeth. White and green teas are the least likely to cause staining, and if you’re worried about caffeine, decaffeinated varieties of these teas are also available. Herbal teas like chamomile and hibiscus are also good choices.

If the color of your teeth is something you worry about, then selecting a type of tea which is less likely to stain your teeth can help you enjoy your cup of tea without having to worry.

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