Nowadays, everyone wants to have a beautiful, pearly white smile. Making sure you get your teeth cleaned every six months is a big part of that, however eating the right foods can also brighten your smile. The following foods have been found to be beneficial to your teeth’s enamel.
- Strawberries: Since they contain malic acid, a natural bleaching agent, you can mash them up, leave them on your teeth, and rinse for a brighter smile.
- Apples: They also contain malic acid and combat staining by increasing saliva production. In addition, they kill bacteria that can cause bad breath and the act of chewing scrubs away excess plaque build up.
- Celery: Have a high water content that allows for excess saliva production to clean the mouth.
- Carrots: Contain vitamin A, which is essential for healthy enamel. The crunching action also helps remove plaque buildup.
- Pineapples: Increase saliva production, which results in cleaner teeth. In addition, pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which is a natural stain remover and breaks up plaque buildup.
- Baking soda straight from the box has been found to remove plaque and whiten teeth.
- Broccoli: High in iron which has two major benefits to tooth enamel. First, it acts as a barrier against acidic foods, preventing stains and cavities. Secondly, eating raw broccoli can naturally scrub your teeth and remove excess plaque.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Contain a type of sugar called lentinan, which stops the bacteria responsible for creating plaque.
- Basil: this herb naturally prevents cavities by inhibiting the bacteria that cause them.
- Onions and Garlic: In addition to being colorless, if eaten raw, both of these contain thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates which reduce plaque production.
- Tea: Not a food exactly, but green and black tea contain Polyphenols which act to naturally reduce bacteria. Tea also contains fluoride, a common ingredient in most toothpaste that is used to improve oral health.
- Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese all contain lactic acid which prevents tooth decay. Although the exact reasoning is not known, researchers believe yogurt proteins bind to teeth and act as a protective barrier against acids. Hard cheeses are also beneficial since they remove food particles and are high in protein, calcium, and phosphorus.
In addition to that list of foods, some general guidelines include: foods rich in calcium and phosphorus, crunchy foods high in water content, and foods rich in vitamin C & D. Calcium and phosphorus work to strengthen enamel, crunchy foods in high water content produce more saliva and naturally scrub your teeth, and foods rich in vitamins C & D assist with important bodily functions. Specifically, vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, while vitamin C strengthens blood vessels to reduce inflammation, and is required to produce collagen.
Eating any of these foods can naturally help to improve your oral health. In addition, these foods have many other health benefits to your overall health. Remember the old saying, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor (and dentist) away”.