There is a wide assortment of products and services out there for getting a whiter and brighter smile. From bleaching to whitening strips, the options seem endless. But are there any natural sources of teeth whitening?
Many foods you may be overlooking can actually help whiten teeth. These foods help by cleaning teeth and providing the necessary nutrients for oral health.
Many people would kill for a whiter, healthier smile. But you can get a brighter smile with a few small dietary changes.
Here are 10 foods to help give you a brighter smile.
Cheese doesn’t have to be a guilty-pleasure food. Cheese is colorless, so it won’t stain your teeth in the first place. And it’s rough texture can help remove built-up food particles.
Cheese is also rich in calcium, phosphorous, and protein. These are essential nutrients for strong teeth. They will whiten and rebuild enamel and protect against future staining by acidic foods.
Other dairy products, like milk and yogurt, also contain lactic acid. Lactic acid will protect tooth enamel and prevent cavities. This makes dairy products a great alternative for anyone wanting to avoid the more acidic foods on this list.
Like cheese, strawberries can remove built-up food particles. The tiny seeds do most of the work, but vitamin C also pitches in by removing plaque.
While berries have a bad rap for staining teeth, strawberries contain malic acid. Malic acid is commonly found in toothpaste and can whiten teeth.
A mixture of strawberries and baking soda is a great stain remover. Just be sure to rinse your mouth out afterward. While malic acid removes stains, it can also corrode tooth enamel.
You’ll find that a lot of foods on this list contain malic acid. Malic acid occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It’s what gives these foods a sour taste.
Our bodies produce malic acid when we process carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. But it doesn’t hurt to go all in on foods rich in malic acid.
Speaking of another food containing malic acid…
Apples are another food that’s great for teeth cleaning. Like cheese, their rough surfaces can clear away bacteria and built-up food particles. Apples contain large amounts of water and fiber, which will also act as a natural cleaner.
As mentioned, apples contain malic acid, which increases saliva production and whitens teeth. But be sure to rinse your mouth out afterward. The malic acid, paired with an apple’s acidity, can corrode tooth enamel.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. In fact, it’s the only food that naturally contains bromelain, an inflammatory enzyme. This enzyme helps to remove plaque and stains from teeth.
Pineapple also increases saliva production, which removes bacteria and wards off tooth decay.
Carrots promote teeth health similarly to apples. Their rough texture cleans teeth like a scrubbing brush, and they help produce bacteria-fighting saliva.
Unlike apples, carrots actually neutralize the acids that damage your teeth. The vitamin A in carrots also helps with tooth enamel. Stick with carrots if you want to whiten teeth while protecting tooth enamel.
Basil is a natural antibiotic and will fight bacteria that would otherwise damage teeth.
Like strawberries, you can turn basil into a teeth-whitening past. Or you can add basil to some of your everyday snacks for a teeth whitening bump.
All that dead bacteria will also lead to better smelling breath. Add basil to your salads and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.
There is at least one meat product that can help with a whiter smile. Salmon is rich in calcium. It also contains vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
All this makes for a healthier, cleaner mouth and a whiter smile.
8. Shiitake Mushrooms
Lentinan is a sugar found in shiitake mushrooms that inhibits bacteria growth. Unlike other sugars, this one won’t corrode enamel.
Shiitake mushrooms are great for making soup. Pair this with a salad containing basil and you’ll soon have a brighter smile.
9. Dark Leafy Greens and Broccoli
Dark leafy greens contain magnesium. This helps to maintain tooth enamel.
They also contain iron, which fights stains, corrosion, and bacteria. Iron also polishes your teeth, resulting in a brighter smile.
Broccoli acts like a brush for your teeth that cleans and removes stains as you chew. Eat broccoli raw for its teeth whitening benefits.
Broccoli also contains iron that will protect your teeth from further corrosion by preventing stains and cavities.
Broccoli is also high in fiber. This will reduce inflammation in your mouth and body. Be sure to eat broccoli raw to get the most out of these benefits.
10. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a convenient and portable snack that is great for your teeth and general health.
Nuts, especially almonds, are low in sugar, so they won’t damage teeth. And they’re high in calcium, so they’ll keep your teeth and bones healthy and strong.
And like a lot of other foods on this list, nuts or tough enough to remove any built-up gunk on your teeth. Take them with you anywhere for a natural whitener in your back pocket.
Smart Food Choices and a Brighter Smile
All of these foods will help you to get a whiter, brighter smile. They prevent bacteria, provide the necessary nutrients for oral health, and remove plaque and debris.
Remember, some of these foods are acidic and can corrode tooth enamel. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water and protect your teeth.
If you find that dietary changes aren’t enough to whiten your teeth, we’re here to help. Here at Doug Lewis Cosmetic, Family and Restorative Dentistry, we offer in-house bleaching as well as at home bleaching kits. These are inexpensive and non-invasive alternatives for getting the whiter smile that you dream of.
There’s no need to go through life with a yellow smile. Not when there are so many ways to whiten teeth. Whatever method you decide to go with, a whiter, brighter smile is within reach.