A Health Drink for Your Teeth

Medically reviewed in December 2020

Which is better for your teeth—orange juice or tea?

Turns out that OJ ranks right up there with soda in terms of its enamel-damaging potential. But tea's effect on teeth is like water's: It leaves enamel unscathed.

Guard your teeth
Think of enamel as armor for your teeth. Once that armor gets worn down or damaged, it can't repair itself. That's why acidic beverages—soda, citrus juice, sports drinks—are so bad for your pearly whites: They contain enamel-stripping acids (phosphoric, citric, malic, and tartaric acids, to name a few). But green and black teas don't attack enamel, and they even have a bit of tooth-friendly fluoride to boot.

Drinks that do no wrong
Save wear and tear on your teeth with these other smart sipping strategies:

  • Use a straw with acidic beverages. This minimizes contact with your teeth. Or swish your mouth with water afterward. How much water do you really need to drink? Read this article to find out.
  • Drink brewed tea—and drink it straight up. If you load it up with sugar and lemon, your teeth will feel it. You might want to skip the milk, too. Here's why.
  • Snack on natural stain removers, like apples, celery, and carrots.

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