Been drinking your morning brew black to save on kcals? Hold up, turns out that glug of milk doubles up as a bargain teeth whitener.
A new study has found adding milk tea stops staining, just as effectively as some bleaching products, reports the Journal of Dental Hygiene.
Tea’s staining ability is all down to tannins – dark coloured compounds that give a bitter flavour and can stain the teeth.
But that’s no reason to cut down – its antioxidant power is well documented, and most recently it was found that tea drinkers slash their risk of developing a fatal heart-related condition by 25 per cent.
Read more: How to get a healthy heart in 7 days
‘The more the tea is processed or oxidized, the higher its staining properties are. But we’ve found that the addition of milk to tea reduces the tea’s ability to stain teeth,’ explains Dr Ava Chow, from the University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry.
It’s all down to the main protein in milk, Caesin – a protein commonly used by bodybuilder’s wanting to bulk up overnight. It binds to the tannins in teeth to prevent staining.
Researchers analysed human teeth, then put them through a ‘staining process’ – covering them in black tea, or tea with milk for 24 hours. The lighter shade of the teeth in the ‘with milk’ solution was so pronounced that Dr. Chow compared it to the effects of professional whitening treatments, and ranked it above whitening toothpastes.
Now it’s definitely time to stick the kettle on.
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Need something a little stronger? We got an appointment with a Harley Street dentist to get the Do’s and Don’ts of teeth whitening – and we’re sharing them with you in our #FreshStartSeptember issue. Out now in Holland & Barrett, supermarkets, WH Smith and selected newsagents.