Among the many misconceptions about tea, one could argue that one of the most widely spread would be that tea has a deleterious effect on the teeth.

Doubtless that this rumor was spread from some nefarious sugar-laden organization intent on refracting the blame from themselves, but in actuality it couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to a recent study released from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and published in Preventive Medicine, researchers found that not only is tea not bad for your teeth, but it may actually strengthen them quite significantly.

Smile!Scientists found that those who drink a cup or more of tea a day were almost 20% less likely to have  20 or fewer teeth (most mouths have between 28 – 32, depending if wisdom teeth are present).

One possible explanation for this benefit of tea that was explored was that warm drinks simply wash out your mouth.  However,  coffee, which would also provide a mouth rinse, had absolutely no benefit, suggesting something else is going on.

More likely, the effects are due to a family of flavonoids found abundantly in tea known as catechins.   Catechins have been shown to eliminate many forms of bacteria, so would make sense that they’d keep your teeth healthy and strong.

However, it is important to note that these findings are under the condition that no sugar or other additives are added to the tea (we wouldn’t do that anyway, would we?).

So keep those pearly whites where they belong – in your mouth – drink your tea!