This Youtube video claims that green tea "is the best mouthwash", citing various medical studies that claim that green tea is more effective in reducing dental bacteria than various standard chemicals. Quick googling has found me this study of University of British Columbia researchers, which (at least to me as a complete medical noob) seems to support this claim.

Is the advice to wash one's mouth with green tea medically plausible?

Sidenote: I found this earlier question, but it seems only loosely related.


1 Answer 1


Answer: Yes, it probably does.

I found this referenced answer on authoritynutrition.com.

The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well.

Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections (31, 32, 33, 34).

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.

Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries (35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40).

Another awesome benefit of green tea… multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath (41, 42.

Bottom Line: The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath.

  • 7
    I think you are a bit too categorical. Note the many "mays" and "cans" in the summary. Also, I read through the abstracts of the cited studies; most of them are in vitro, with two animal studies and one non-blind human study. Perhaps the answer should be "It probably does" :)
    – P_S
    Aug 22, 2014 at 17:51

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