When we talk about how foods affect the color of your teeth, we usually focus on the negative – the foods that stain your teeth or why professional teeth whitening is especially necessary for coffee and soda drinkers. But there are also foods that can be used for natural teeth whitening, and that’s what we want to look closer at.
Vegetables Can Brighten Your Smile
Coarse, raw vegetables, like broccoli and carrots can whiten your teeth in two ways. One, the crisp, coarse texture can naturally polish your teeth as you chew, and two, because these vegetables require a lot of chewing, you produce more saliva which naturally rinses away bacteria that can cause staining. If you have to pick one, go with broccoli, because the extra iron in it can help protect your enamel.
Whiten Teeth at Home with Carrots, Celery, and Apples
Apples, celery, and carrots all have a high-water content which helps to remove debris left by other foods while rinsing your teeth and producing more saliva. While you may not whiten teeth at home in one day with these foods, their crunchy texture provides a bit of polishing power while strengthening your gums, which leads to an overall whiter smile. These are also some of the best foods to eat following a meal when you don’t have access to a toothbrush or floss.
Crunch Your Way to White Teeth with Almonds
Almonds and other nuts like cashews and walnuts are not only an energizing snack, they’re a great way to do a fast bit of at home teeth whitening. They have a rough, abrasive texture that buffs your teeth and removes stains without damaging your enamel. However, it’s a good idea to brush (or eat an apple!) to remove any pieces that may get caught in your teeth.
Cheese and Yogurt Strengthen and Brighten Your Smile
Dairy products are one of the best foods to strengthen your teeth, but they can also naturally whiten teeth, too. Calcium strengthens the teeth and prevents decay, while the casein, a milk protein, protects the enamel. Even better, hard cheeses like cheddar, gouda, and Swiss help clean your teeth by upping your saliva production.
Raw Onions Can Make Your Teeth White
This is definitely one of the at home teeth whitening tricks because doing it in public may drive people away! However, the sulfur compounds that are found in raw onion can prevent plaque from forming on your teeth, while the high water content makes you salivate. The sulfur compounds break down once the onions are cooked, so while you may like the taste of a grilled or sauteed onion, it’s not going to give you the anti-plaque power.
Strawberries and Oranges Are Natural Teeth Whiteners
Strawberries and oranges contain malic acid, a chemical that is used in whitening toothpaste because it works kind of like an astringent to remove stains from the surface of your teeth. Some people will even mash them up and mix them with baking soda to whiten teeth at home in one day!
When in Doubt – Drink Water!
Drinking water is the best thing you can do to maintain a white smile and prevent stains. By drinking water during and after meals, you’re rinsing debris and bacteria off your teeth, and if you’ve eaten or drank anything that stains, like coffee or red wine, you’re removing it before it can settle onto your enamel. Just be sure to choose still water instead of sparkling, as the carbonation is actually harmful to teeth.
Contact Us for Professional Teeth Whitening
If you have some natural stains on your teeth, instead of trying to restore the white, healthy shine to your teeth, consider professional teeth whitening! At our Raleigh dental office, we use Brite Smile, a safe, painless whitening gel that can remove stains in just an hour! Then, once your teeth have a brilliant shine, you can whiten teeth at home with foods to maintain your smile. Contact us today at 919-834-4450 or fill out the contact form below to get started!