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Drinking tea may help prevent tooth decay. A study carried out at the University of Illinois, USA has shown that bacteria present in dental plaque stopped growing when people rinsed their mouths with black tea five times for 30 seconds over a 15 minute period. It is the poplyphenol components of the tea that fights dental plaque. A previous Swedish study had also confirmed this finding, showing that people who rinsed their mouths with black tea for one minute, ten times a day, had significantly less bacterial plaque than those who used just water.