Thursday, April 30, 2009

Green Tea: An Addition to My Home-Grown Oral Hygiene Regimen

I have an appointment with the dentist next Tuesday to blow $200.00 on tooth bleaching. But I'm having second thoughts. For me, a frugal lifestyle means having my priorities clear.

As I wrote a few days ago, the dentist checked my teeth - which I've been brushing with baking soda for the last few weeks, and said they look great. But I'd sure like them to be a little more sparkling white. My husband, who smokes, got his teeth bleached a few years ago, and they looked great.

So, do I spend the $200? Or try out a few other things first? I'm thinking maybe I could just use hydrogen peroxide at home to whiten my teeth. The thing that's stopping me is that hydrogen peroxide can make your teeth more sensitive.

When I was at the dentist, she gave me a flouride treatment. She mentioned, as she was slathering my mouth with the foul-tasting supercherry flavour that the flouride helps "remineralize" tooth enamel, and reduce sensitivity.

So when I read about the hydrogen peroxide causing tooth sensitivity I started wondering about flouride.

Enter the Internet. A couple of Google searches later, I stumbled across a potential solution.

Green Tea.

Apparently, in addition to having cancer-fighting antioxidants, green tea is chock full of FLOURIDE. Weird, huh? According to researchers at Oregon State University, " fluoride levels in green, oolong, and black teas are generally comparable to those recommended for the prevention of dental caries (cavities)."

Also, tea contains compounds called polyphenols that are powerful antioxidants, that have been shown to improve oral health, and kill the bacteria that can cause bad breath, according to an article in Scientific American.

And finally, a study at Pace University reported in American Society For Microbiology (May 2008) found tea extracts effective at treating bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, pneumonia and dental caries.[35] (thought they claim white tea is more effective than green tea).

Sounds like 3 reputable sources to me.

Of tea is touted as a cure for everything from arthritis to athlete's foot, which makes me suspicious.

But I'm definitely going to incorporate it into my experiments. I'll keep you posted.

And I probably will sprinkle the dried tea leaves in my cat's litterbox to see if it really does absorb litterbox odours as they suggest over at

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