10+ Foods That Whiten Your Teeth Naturally
In my interaction with different people looking for help with dental care, it is evident that most of the people are aware of the good dental health practices. You are probably aware of the need to floss your teeth on top of brushing them at least twice a day. You are also most likely aware of the importance of avoiding sugary foods and other lifestyle practices that stain teeth and promote tooth decay.
What you may not be aware of is the huge number of readily available foods whose consumption whitens your teeth naturally and promotes better dental health. It is always a pleasant experience when I see the innocent surprise in people whenever I point out that carrots not only help with eyesight but also whitening your teeth.
You would be surprised too when you hear that the simple action of chewing crunchy and fleshy foods in itself helps scrub any plaque or food pile up. This action leaves your teeth clean and maintains their shiny white appeal.
I will take you through a number of the easily available foods whose effect on your teeth should see you include them more in your diet. Most of the food items on this list come with the convenience of being great snack options. So instead of harming your dental care and straining the protective layer with sodium, acid and sugary filled snacks, simply select one of these many options.
They are the sweetest of the citrus fruits and they make a great teeth whitener for a number of reasons. Their content helps neutralize the acidic elements present on the teeth and which usually lead to tooth decay. Further, it increases the saliva content in your mouth which helps clean teeth naturally.
You can also make use of the peels from the fruit to manually rub on the enamel since they contain vitamin C variants which is a gentler alternative to the harsh teeth whitening options available in the market.
Strawberries top any list of foods that have significant whitening effects on your teeth. Their main component is the malic acid which is a natural astringent and is even found in
commercial toothpaste as a bleaching agent. The malic acid helps fight off any staining on the teeth while the vitamin C present helps fight plaque.
The anti-oxidants present in the mouth also prevent inflammation and other bacterial activity. You have various options of taking the fruits but, for the best results, you can mash a couple of them up and rub them on your teeth. After a couple of minutes, you can rinse the teeth. You should also be rinsing the teeth after eating the strawberries because of their sugar content.
Carrots are the perfect getaway card when you do not have your toothbrush or floss nearby. Their fleshy and crunchy texture when eaten raw provides a smooth brushing on your tooth surface leaving no room for plaque or stains to build up.
They also lead to an increased production of saliva in the mouth which in addition to providing rinsing, inhibits the bacterial activity preventing them from releasing acids that stain your teeth. Further, carrots contain Vitamin A which is not only great for your eyesight but is crucial in the strengthening of your teeth.
Saying cheese for the camera is supposed to leave you baring your teeth for the camera in a pseudo smile. Well, eating up the cheese will enable you to deliver the real smile without any problems or fear of stains. The best kinds are the hard ones because these provide a double act of cleaning and keeping your teeth white.
The hard texture works to pick up any pile-up of food on the tooth surfaces. On the other hand, the minerals contained in cheese like calcium and phosphorus help fortify the teeth against decay and staining. Through a process of re-mineralization, these minerals replenish the tooth enamel enabling it to withstand any acidic activity without being stained or eroded.
- Apples and celery
These two make the perfect snack if you are looking to boost your tooth whitening efforts. Apples contain a good amount of malic acid which we have already established is a natural bleaching agent which helps to fight any teeth discoloration.
Celery, on the other hand, provides a fibrous texture which just like the crunchy feel of apples helps scrub deposits from the teeth surfaces. These two also have a high water content which stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is a natural cleansing agent responsible for keeping your teeth clean and white.
- Baking soda
For ages, baking soda has been established as a great teeth whitening product. It is a natural bleaching agent and even studies have established that toothpaste containing the ingredient is better at dealing with teeth staining and discoloration than those that do not have it as an ingredient.
You can make use of this by switching to use it one in a while or once every week to improve on your teeth whitening gains. You should also look to see it is an ingredient when selecting kinds of toothpaste.
- Yoghurt and milk
Dairy products are among the significant contributors for the minerals which help strengthen one’s teeth. Yoghurt and milk are rich in Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus among other minerals. They also contain lactic acid which is important in fortifying the teeth against future decay.
The minerals and nutrients in milk not only protect the enamel but also strengthen the jaw bone and teeth roots which further guarantee the health of your tooth and continual nourishment of the dental layer. This prevents any staining or erosion that leads to discoloration.
You most likely enjoy your broccoli when it is steamed or roasted and you get to reap the fibrous and iron content of the vegetable. However, you can reap more benefits from the vegetable by eating it raw especially the florets.
This allows you to use the hard texture to polish your teeth while getting you even higher iron content that is not lost in the heating process. It has been established that the iron content available in broccoli helps create a protective wall which guards the teeth surface against the actions of decay-causing bacteria.
9. Seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts of all variety from sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and others are all great snacks. Their hard texture turns them into a mild abrasive when being chewed which allows them to serve the purpose of an exfoliator on teeth surfaces.
They remove the stains that could have formed on the teeth and help prevent the pile-up of substances that can encourage bacteria action and stain the teeth.
- Onions and garlic
The smell of garlic in your mouth will have you thinking twice about using the spice as a teeth whitening agent. Onions too are known for their smell but if you get over the initial apprehension, you can reap their great plaque prevention benefits.
When eaten raw, onions and garlic contain sulfur compounds which inhibit the formation of plaque on your teeth surface. This prevents the eventual discoloration of your teeth surface. As an added bonus, the eating of these spices raw will further encourage you to brush your teeth extending the benefits you get.
You most likely forget to observe the recommended daily water intake. Even if you do, chances are you are never near a glass of water when drinking wine or taking other pigment rich drinks and foods. Having water on such occasions helps prevent staining and also dilutes any acid present in the foods.
Water largely helps rinse your mouth and dissolves the sugars and salts that may be left in your mouth and on teeth thus denying the bacteria present sugars and food particles to use for their activities.
Keeping yourself dehydrated with water also ensures you get to also replenish your saliva and prevents a dry mouth that promotes tooth decay. Water also has the added advantage of supplying your teeth with enough of fluoride which is useful in preventing tooth decay and staining.
As a word of advice, use still water instead of the sparkling or burbling kind. This is because bubbles have been shown to cause erosion to the enamel which harms your teeth and increases tooth sensitivity.
Protecting your dental health is one more reason to fill your cereal bowl with raisins more often. They help neutralize the acids present in the mouth which usually encourage bacterial action and cause stains. Raisins also help increase the production of saliva in the mouth which we have already seen is effective in keeping your mouth free of plaque and stains.
Pineapples are the only food source that contains bromelain. This compound contains both cleansing and anti-oxidant properties. A research has established that bromelain is effective in removing stains. It is also used in commercial toothpaste.
A good diet is essential to achieving healthy teeth. Besides strengthening the gums and the teeth, it also ensures that your teeth are white and prevent staining and other bacterial activity. You do not have to stop at just avoiding sugary foods, caffeine and tobacco. A regular intake of the foods listed above will help you achieve your dental health goals.
Author Bio: Dr. Patty has been a dentist for many years which has afforded her a rich portfolio of experiences in the cosmetic dentistry. She is a regular contributor to numerous dental blogs and is keen on sharing knowledge gained over the years