Just brushing and flossing is not sufficient to keep your teeth healthy. Eating the right food also contributes to your oral hygiene. Nature is loaded with foods that can cleanse your teeth, fight bacteria, enhance gum growth, and freshen up your breath. There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products also that guarantee a sparkling smile that come with the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association.
Foods that can whiten your teeth and keep your teeth healthy are:
- The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends fiber-rich foods in your diet that can act as a whitening agent. Fiber-rich food can help stimulate saliva flow and is the best natural food that protects against cavities and gum disorders. The role of saliva is vital. It neutralizes the enzymes and acids that attack your teeth. Moreover, saliva contains calcium and phosphate and it regenerates the lost minerals that have degenerated due to secretion of bacterial acids.
- Oil pulling is the term used to describe the use of sesame oil or virgin coconut oil for gargling for about fifteen minutes. The oil is then spat out. This can ensure bright white teeth.
- Strawberries contain astringents that are natural bleaching agents.
- Apples contain malic acid and are good as they act as detergents and help scrub the teeth to keep them free from stains. Acids from these foods also destroys plaque
- Celery contains fibrous cellulose that stimulates saliva and cleanses the teeth
- Carrot is full of vitamin A and helps strengthen the tooth enamel
- Colorless cheese does not stain the teeth. It contains calcium and phosphorous and cheese protects teeth from the attacking acids that damages the enamel
- Broccoli can remove stains and the iron content in it helps protect the tooth enamel
- Drink as much as water to stay hydrated; this also prevents any tooth stains or discoloration
- Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that is a natural stain remover
- Onion and garlic can be eaten raw and being colorless it does not stain the teeth. It releases bacteria-reducing compounds, like thiosulfinates and tiosulfonates, promoting whitening of teeth
- Salmon is rich in vitamin D that strengthen the teeth and guarantees a beautiful smile
- Sugar-free chewing gums can keep your breath fresh; it can also removes trapped particles in between your teeth
However, there are some foods that can stain your teeth too. These include:
- Carbonated soft drinks are hazardous to the teeth as it contains added sugar and harmful ingredients like phosphoric and citric acids that can damage the tooth enamel
- Starchy foods can get stuck between the teeth. Food like French fries and soft bread remain trapped in your teeth and can cause damage to the teeth and gums
- Chocolates, candies, and sweets are another must avoid food, if you want to protect your ‘pearly whites’. Any food that contains refined sugar is to be dropped from your diet chart.
- Say a big “no” to black coffee. Lighten the color by adding milk to keep-off pigmentation
- Alcoholic drinks and medicines that have alcoholic base have to be discontinued. If you are on a prolonged medication, consider a fluoride rinse after consulting your dentist
- Use of tobacco can stain your teeth over a period of time, and this is often an irreversible damage
Many consider teeth whitening as an alternative. But, you need to be aware that it is not advised for every individual. Your teeth become vulnerable to extreme hot and cold temperatures. It can also cause irritation in the gums. Using whitening products for longer than the prescribed time can be detrimental to your oral health. The side effects of exercising home-use whiteners are not clear as the problems are rarely reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Opt for natural foods to enhance your oral health; it is the best way to keep your teeth sparkling bright and healthy.