Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tea & Dental Hygiene

Hot water is also very hurtful to the teeth. The Chinese do not drink their tea so hot as we do, and yet they have had teeth. This cannot be ascribed entirely to sugar, for they use very little, as already observed; but we all know, that hot or cold things, which pain the teeth, destroy them also. If we drank less tea, and used gentle acids for the gums and teeth, particularly sour oranges, though we had a less number of French dentists, I fancy this essential part of beauty would be much better preserved.

The women in the United Provinces, who sip tea from morning till night, are also as remarkable for bad teeth. They also look pallid, and many are troubled with certain feminine disorders, arising from a relaxed habit. The Portuguese ladies, on the other hand, entertain with sweetmeats, and yet they have very good teeth; but their food, in general, is more of a farinaceous and vegetable kind than ours. They also drink cold water, instead of sipping hot, and never taste any fermented liquors; for these reasons, the use of sugar does not seem to be at all pernicious to them.

Jonas Hanway (Essay on Tea, 1756)

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