To deliciously achieve a healthier, whiter smile, try these 10 foods:
1. Strawberries unlike other brightly colored berries, strawberries don’t stain your teeth, they actually scrub and polish them.
2. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. They may also kill bacteria that causes bad breath. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser. Actually, chewing any crunchy vegetables will naturally work to scrub your teeth clean.
3. Oranges and pineapples boost saliva production, which serves as the mouth’s self-cleaning agent. Pineapples in particular are full of an enzyme called bromelain in that acts as a natural stain remover and helps break up plaque. Also, if you rub the white side of an orange peel on your teeth it can remove tartar build up and even give you a slightly brighter smile.
4. Lemon juice As we all know, lemon juice is a natural lightener (like when you put some on your hair and then go out in the sun). It can also be used to whiten teeth. Create a mixture of a teaspoon of lemon juice with a pinch of salt or a little baking soda and rub it on your teeth. You could also eat lemons by themselves if you can tolerate it. Be aware though that too much lemon juice on your teeth can cause sensitivity.
5. Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which can help buffer the acids in your mouth. Calcium and phosphorus even help to repair your teeth.
6. Sesame seeds help to “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action. Sesame seeds also contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.
7. Apple cider vinegar can be swished around in your mouth. It’s not necessarily a tasty treat, but it is very effective for getting rid of stains on teeth. Another option is to form a paste by mixing apple cider vinegar and baking soda and rub that on your teeth.
8. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which is a compound that inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth and forming dental plaque.
9. Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid- resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.
10. Salmon provides calcium as well as vitamin D, which are both needed for healthy bones and teeth.
While you’re eating foods that whiten teeth try to avoid the ones that darken them. Coffee, red wine, Coca-Cola, and anything with food coloring can stain your teeth. If you do happen to eat any of these, the best thing to do is to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after eating them to prevent stains.
photo via Boston.com