- People aged 40-64 who drank one cup of green tea a day were less likely to lose teeth.
- Drinking unsweetened coffee had no effect on keeping teeth.
- Antimicrobial molecules called catechins may account for green tea's benefits.
A cup of green tea a day may keep the dentist away.
That's the finding of new research published in Preventive Medicine. The findings show that drinking at least one cup of green tea a day increases the odds of keeping your teeth as you age.
The researchers suspect that antimicrobial molecules called catechins present in green tea and in lesser amounts in oolong tea provide the benefit. But be careful if you like your tea with sugar: sweetener may negate the effect, the team found.
"Green tea may have bacteriocidal effects, which would affect teeth, but only if you drink it without sugar," said Alfredo Morabia, of Columbia University in New York and editor of Preventive Medicine, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new research.
"They also reported that drinking sweet coffee was actually deleterious," he added. "Coffee alone had no problem, but sweet coffee would actually make you lose your teeth."