You’ve probably heard the saying “you are what you eat”. Many of us associate this with our bodies, but healthy teeth are essential to the overall health of our bodies, too. What we choose to put into our mouths influences our gums, our teeth and how healthy our smiles are. While lifestyle habits like smoking and consuming alcohol or coffee can cause yellowing or discoloration of teeth, believe it or not, there are foods and drinks that can help to brighten tooth enamel. Here are 7 of them:
- Pineapples: Pineapples can help you to whiten your teeth naturally. They contain a group of enzymes called bromelain, which work like a natural stain remover by helping to break up plaque, the sticky bacterial film that accumulates on the surfaces of your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that produce acids that can potentially erode tooth enamel, and result in dental cavities.
- Cheese: Yes, it’s true, cheese can be your friend! It’s rich in calcium, protein and phosphorus, minerals that all help to buffer mouth acids. Additionally, phosphorus and calcium also help to repair and remineralize your teeth. Consider opting for a low-fat cheese as you work to brighten up your smile, so that you reduce your saturated fat intake and actively try to protect your heart.
- Strawberries: This may come as a shock, given their color, but strawberries contain a natural astringent called malic acid, which helps to remove tooth surface discoloration. Whether you consume strawberries in a shortcake, cereal or fruit salad, note that they’re doing their best to whiten your teeth as you enjoy their juiciness!
- Broccoli: The florets of broccoli work like a toothbrush; no, seriously. Not only will eating these raw help to clean your teeth naturally, but broccoli also contains high iron levels, which coats tooth enamel. The iron also helps to ward off harmful bacteria, stains and acid erosion.
- Apples & Oranges: Due to their crunchiness, apples work like a natural abrasive scrub that cleans your teeth as you bite into them. Similarly to strawberries, apples also have a high malic acid concentration, often found in certain kinds of toothpaste. Malic acid generates extra saliva, and helps to remove and prevent tooth stains while cleaning your teeth. As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor – and maybe the dentist – away! When we’re talking about oranges, it’s all about the peel, which is not acidic, and does contain vitamin C variants. If you wash and rinse the peel thoroughly and then rub the white, inner part of the peel across the surface of your teeth, you can help to minimize plaque while simultaneously tackling tartar buildup.
- Seeds & Nuts: An exfoliant for your teeth, seeds and nuts contain an abrasive texture that can help to strip stains from your tooth enamel while making the surface of your teeth appear whiter. Some seeds and nuts that you may want to incorporate into your diet include: walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds and sesame seeds.
- Water: Flat, not sparkling, water can act as a teeth whitening agen. In addition to keeping us hydrated, water also helps to prevent the formation of stains on our teeth. We recommend swishing a mouthful of water after consuming pigment-rich foods or fluids to maintain a brighter, whiter smile. Additionally, water lowers the overall acidity level in our mouths, which reduces the chances of damaged tooth enamel.
These aren’t the only 7 foods and beverages that can help to brighten your teeth, but it’s a start! And yes, whitening your teeth with professional dental services or products is generally an option, but incorporating the above foods into your diet can help you to illuminate your smile naturally. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions!