It’s no surprise that most individuals are fairly critical about the appearance of their mouth and are interested in improving it in some way. When asked what they most dislike and wish to improve, many individuals will respond with something that has to do with their teeth. It may be the shape, the size or the position, but more it is the color they find to be unacceptable. It’s no surprise, then, that individuals will often spend a great deal of time and money on teeth whitening solutions. But before you spend loads of money on over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, gels and other things, take a moment to consider the foods that can help to whiten your teeth naturally.
Teeth Whitening Foods
Healthy, natural foods provide us with many wonderful benefits, including important vitamins and minerals that our body needs in order to operate smoothly. In fact, there are some healthy, natural foods that can not only benefit the various systems in our body, but even help to keep our teeth clean and bright, such as:
- Apples. Not only can the action of chewing on apples help to scrub your teeth, the malic acid in apples works to increase saliva production, which is efficient at cleaning teeth and even removing stains.
- Pineapple. This juicy fruit contains bromelain, which has both anti-inflammatory and cleaning abilities. It helps to break up plaque, wherein lies the bacteria that produce enamel-eroding acid. Bromelain is also a natural stain remover, making it a useful ingredient in stain-removing toothpastes.
- Broccoli. As a high-fiber food, broccoli can help to reduce inflammation in your mouth and body. Chewing on raw broccoli will help to clean and polish teeth, and the iron content will help to protect tooth enamel from the acids that cause staining and cavities.
- Raisins. Despite their sweet, sticky nature causing you to believe otherwise, raisins are actually very good for your teeth. When you chew raisins you stimulate saliva production, and this can work to protect against plaque, stains and cavities.
- Cheese. Hard cheeses are another saliva-stimulating food. Furthermore, cheeses contain minerals and protein that work to protect tooth enamel. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has also indicated that the lactic acid content in cheese helps to protect against tooth decay.
- Water. Regular and sufficient water consumption helps to promote saliva production and rinse away the food particles and plaque that stain or darken teeth.
- Strawberries. Strawberries are another food that contain malic acid, as well as antioxidants that fight stain-attracting bacteria and inflammation. Their vitamin C content works to prevent periodontal disease.
- Ginger. This natural anti-inflammatory can help to prevent the periodontal disease that can cause bone loss.
- Carrots. Vitamin A, which carrots have a lot of, helps to ensure healthy tooth enamel. As is the case with raw broccoli, chewing on raw carrots cleans the teeth and stimulates saliva production.
- Basil. This natural antibiotic helps to reduce the bacteria that attack tooth enamel.
- Sesame seeds. Along with their ability to scrub away plaque, sesame seeds contain the calcium that works to strengthen bones and teeth.
- Shitaki mushrooms. The lentinan in shitaki mushrooms inhibits bacteria growth, which helps protect tooth enamel.
- Onions and garlic. Raw onions and garlic contain sulfur compounds that reduce bacteria. It is important to eat them raw, however, since cooking them destroys their bacteria-fighting abilities.
- Salmon. This delicious seafood is an incredible natural source of calcium and vitamin D, which help support healthy teeth and bones.
When working to whiten your teeth, what you avoid is often just as–or even more–important than what you consume. Therefore, in addition to consuming the above foods, it is also important to avoid things that tend to stain your teeth–like drinking coffee or tea and smoking cigarettes. For more teeth whitening solutions, contact your dentist, Dr. Best. Remember, your mouth is a window into your overall physical health, which means that those things which contribute to a healthy, bright mouth and smile also contribute to a healthy body and vice versa.