Add this secret ingredient to your tea for whiter teeth

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If you want whiter teeth, you might consider taking your tea the way the British do!

Read more: Best toothpaste for your money

Milk in tea reportedly as effective as bleaching at your dentist

It’s entirely possible to pay upwards of $7 or more for a tube of whitening toothpaste, but there are a host of other ways to get a brighter smile on the cheap.

For all you tea drinkers out there — and let’s face it, tea is the second most consumed beverage after water — a dash of milk in your cup will reportedly do wonders for your teeth.

The reality is that dark tannins in tea, which add bitterness to the drink, will also stain your teeth. But when milk is added, the casein protein in milk bonds with the tannins to create a chemical barrier against normal tooth discoloration.

This conclusion was reached by Dr. Ava Chow of the University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry and a team of researchers who took extracted human teeth and left them in solutions of tea either with or without milk. Then they checked the color of the teeth after 24 hours.

The result? The teeth that steeped in the dairy-laced tea were noticeably whiter.

The whitening effect was so stark that Dr. Chow noted in the Journal of Dental Hygiene, ‘The magnitude of the colour change observed in our experiments is comparable to the colour change seen by vital bleaching products and more effective than whitening toothpastes.’

Not a fan of milk in your tea? These five common household items can also whiten your smile for very little money.

Read more: 5 ways to afford dental care when you’re on a fixed income

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