How Eating Certain Foods Can Help Brighten Your Smile: A Guide to Natural Teeth Whitening
The best way to get whiter teeth is through good oral hygiene, periodic dental cleanings and professional teeth whitening. But did you know that certain foods can also assist in whitening your teeth? Here is a list of food and drinks that should be part of your diet for a happy and healthy mouth.
10 foods that naturally whiten your teeth
As well as being part of a healthy diet, some foods can help keep your teeth white. Low-sugar snacks such as fruits and veggies, which are high in vitamins, are good for overall health and whiten teeth by keeping your mouth healthy and helping to prevent gum disease.
1. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery and carrots
Not only do crunchy foods keep your gums strong, but they also act as a natural toothbrush to scrub away plaque and bacteria, which cause bad breath, by increasing saliva production. So, an apple a day will keep your dentist happy, too.
Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid which helps to remove discolouration and stains from tooth enamel. Malic acid is also found in grapes, watermelon, apples, carrots and broccoli. What a sweet way to brighten your teeth naturally.
3. Dairy products
Cheese, yoghurt and milk contain lactic acid, which helps to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and prevent tooth decay. The calcium in dairy products also helps to strengthen your teeth. Cheese also contains a protein called casein which strengthens tooth enamel. Choosing hard cheeses to snack on is best as it helps to remove food particles.
4. Leafy greens
Foods such as spinach, kale and cabbage are high in calcium, helping to strengthen teeth. Because they have a fibrous texture, they also cause saliva production, which helps to digest food particles present after a meal.
5. Citrus fruits
Oranges and lemons contain Vitamin C, which can help to reduce plaque. They also contain citric acid, which can lift stains and lighten teeth. However, citric acid can also wear away at tooth enamel, so be sure not to apply it directly to your teeth too frequently.
6. Nuts and seeds
Much like crunchy fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds are high in fibre and can help to produce saliva and scrub away plaque and bacteria.
One of the few foods containing an enzyme called bromelain, pineapple can help you naturally whiten your smile. Bromelain, which helps to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, has even been adopted for teeth whitening in the dentistry profession as an alternative to peroxide.
Black and green teas contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. However, black tea can also stain your teeth. Switching to herbal blends, such as peppermint or ginger, can help to reduce oral bacteria while benefitting your overall health.
9. Baking soda
Long considered a home remedy for tooth whitening, baking soda works to prevent the formation of stains on teeth. However, using it straight from the box is not recommended because it’s too abrasive. Instead, find a toothpaste that contains baking soda to help remove plaque.
Believe it or not, drinking water can help whiten your smile. Having a glass of water after a meal helps prevent stains from forming by diluting the acid in the mouth. Water also helps prevent dry mouth as well as tooth decay and gingivitis that can occur because of it.
Foods to avoid for naturally whiter teeth
When you’re trying to keep your smile bright and healthy, it’s best to avoid certain foods and beverages or at least cut down on them if you consume them frequently. Although some of these foods have health benefits, they may cause surface stains on tooth enamel. Common teeth-staining foods include:
- Red wine
- Coffee and tea
- Tomato sauce
- Cola and dark fruit juice.
Teeth whitening treatments for a brighter smile
If changing your diet isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for when it comes to brightening your smile, there are a number of other options available. From an at-home treatment, such as a whitening toothpaste or whitening strips, to professional teeth whitening by a dental professional, having a brighter smile can lift your confidence and enhance your appearance.
Whether you choose home treatment or professional whitening, it’s best to speak with your dentist about the risks and benefits of each option. Your dentist can also explain how long teeth whitening treatments last.
How oral hygiene can assist with teeth whitening
Brushing and flossing your teeth and keeping them healthy and white can do more than just protect you from cavities. Oral health influences overall wellness, and how well you care for your teeth and gums can affect your entire body, especially your heart.
Poor oral hygiene, including gum disease — which affects more than 20% of Australians — has been linked to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.
There’s no better time to think about how caring for your teeth can help you care for your entire body than Dental Health Week. This year, the oral health campaign will focus on the mouth and whole-body connection to reinforce the importance of maintaining good oral health to keep your teeth for life.
Where to go for whiter, healthier teeth in North Sydney
The dental professionals at KB Village Dental in North Sydney believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile. Whether you’re after professional teeth whitening, more information on how to achieve selfie-ready bright, white teeth or you’d like to know how to keep your whole mouth healthy, you’ll always get a warm welcome from the dentists at our family-friendly practice.