Preparing a Good Cup of Green Tea  – Improve Your Oral Health

If you have a bad coffee habit, drinking cup after cup throughout your workday, you may want to try to mix it up and have some green tea once in a while instead. Green tea has been a favorite hot beverage in Asian countries for thousands of years and is now also becoming more popular in the U.S. This recent spike in green tea popularity is for a large part due to the number of positive health effects that have been linked with drinking green tea. Several studies have indicated that drinking green tea may have a very positive impact on oral and overall health. Health benefits may include lower risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as healthier gums and teeth.Green tea for oral health

Green Antioxidant Deliciousness

The flavonoids (called catechins) green tea contains have been shown to possess antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have indicated that these catechins may combat certain oral bacteria that have been linked with gum disease. All teas from the Camillia tea plant (black, white, green and oolong) actually contain these catechins. Green and white tea are preferred because these teas contain higher amounts of antioxidants and lower amounts of caffeine, which makes them more suitable for drinking at all times of the day. Black tea is also more staining for your teeth. White tea is more expensive than green tea however and not as easy to find at supermarkets.

Green Tea Research

There are a number of studies linking green tea with better oral health. A study conducted by the University of Texas showed that consumption of green tea may significantly reduce the risk of oral cancer. Another study done in Japan indicated that green tea may reduce the risk of tooth loss by about 20% when 1 cup of green tea was consumed per day (though being an observational study, causation can not be proven).

Preparing a Good Cup of Green Tea

If you don’t like the taste of green tea, you likely won’t be drinking it, no matter how good it may be for your oral and overall health. Green tea however needs to be carefully prepared in order for it to taste good. If you use cheap, bagged tea, or let the tea leaves steep for too long, your tea often ends up tasting very bitter. If you want to give green tea another chance, make sure that you buy good quality, loose and preferably organic green tea. Use one tablespoon of green tea per cup of water. Boil water and then let it cool down a bit so it is slightly below boiling temperature. Poor the water into a tea pot with the green tea and let it steep for 2-3 minutes. If you let it steep for much longer, your tea will taste bitter. You can reuse the tea by adding water again for up to about 3 times.

Not convinced about green tea yet? Other studies have linked green tea consumption with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cancers other than oral cancer, as well as better hearth health and improved weight management.

Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry, an Austin cosmetic dental office. Zane doesn’t really enjoy the taste of green tea.

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