“Would you care for a cup of matcha?” asked my DENTAL HYGIENIST the other day at the end of my cleaning. As you might imagine, this piqued my interest.
My dentist, it turns out, has had a lengthy love affair with matcha. He loves all the usual things many of us love about matcha, but he especially loves what matcha does for overall dental health.
The exceedingly high catechin (notably EGCG) content of matcha is what interests him most. These catechins have antibacterial effects, and in essence they act as microscopic plaque scrubbers that can help prevent cavity formation and periodontal disease.
Because they inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause plaque, this dentist has come to think of a cup or glass of matcha after a meal as a delicious liquid floss. And, for that matter, a mouthwash, since these catechins inhibit the bacteria that cause bad breath as well. Unlike coffee, matcha won’t stain your teeth either. Not bad added bonuses for a delicious postprandial shot of matcha.
Here's what Steve H said:
"More than a year ago I switched from coffee and black tea in the morning to only matcha. I have matcha 7 days a week as my wakeup drink.
Recently I went to the dentist and the hygienist told me that my teeth were surprisingly cleaner than normal. She had to remove only a slight amount of tartar. When she asked if I had been doing anything differently I told her that I had been drinking larger-than-normal quantites of matcha and she said, "That's it. I've seen this in other patients who also switched to matcha green tea."
Moreover, there is a large body of research, much of it published in Japan, that goes back as far as the 1970s right up until this year, on the incredibly beneficial effects green tea (specifically the catechin EGCG, which matcha has in spades) has on overall dental health. Here's a brief list of just 40 studies, but there are hundreds more.
So if oral hygiene is a priority for you, you now have yet another reason drink it!