We often think of drinking tea as a way to relax, but it may offer more than that, according recent studies. Two separate analyses conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Tohoku University in Japan found that regularly drinking certain types of teeth can prevent tooth loss.

While one study focused on black tea and the other dealt with green, both reached similar observations about why the drink is good for teeth. Tea contains compounds known as polyphenols that have been shown in previous studies to slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. It has also been shown to fight halitosis, or bad breath.

"Polyphenols suppress the genes of bacteria that control the production of smelly compounds in the mouth," said University of Illinois researcher Dr. Christine Wu in a published statement. 

Wu and her colleagues found that people who rinsed their mouth with black tea for one minute, ten times a day had less plaque buildup than individuals who used water instead. Additionally, the size and the stickiness of the tea consumers' plaque had been reduced.

The researchers from both studies suggested that adding polyphenols to toothpaste and mouthwash may make them more effective at combating microbial agents and plaque buildup. 

Individuals with orthodontic braces don't always have the freedom to eat and drink everything, so we're always excited to hear about foods that are beneficial to oral health. If you're interested in learning more about orthodontic treatment and the work that it entails, don't hesitate to reach out to a New York City orthodontist today. 

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