We always hear about foods we should avoid eating. But good news! There are foods that actually promote a healthy mouth and a whiter smile!
What if you could eat your way to a whiter smile and stronger teeth? Although you’ll still need to brush and floss, some foods promote whiter, stronger teeth. How? Foods can have a positive impact on dental hygiene and teeth stain removal through their chemical, abrasive, and nutritional properties.
Foods Whose Chemistry Helps Whiten Teeth
The chemical composition of certain foods actually can whiten your teeth - foods containing malic acid, for example. Malic acid is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is found in all fruits and many vegetables. It acts as a natural astringent that helps remove surface tooth discoloration.
Have you ever eaten a tart apple or sipped a “sharp” glass of wine? That sharp, tart flavor comes from malic acid!
- Fruits with the highest levels of malic acid include:
apples, nectarines, cherries, lychees, bananas, mangoes, peaches, tomatoes, strawberries, and grapes
- Vegetables with the highest levels of malic acid include:
broccoli, beans, carrots, peas, potatoes, and rhubarb
Chewing These Foods Whitens Teeth Through Abrasion
Just like people’s personalities, some food is more abrasive than others. That means that as you chew an abrasive food, you’re letting the food you chew scrape off plaque from the surface of your teeth.
- Raw, crunchy vegetables, like celery, carrots, and broccoli, not only give you important vitamins and minerals, they also help to remove plaque as you chew. And, bonus, they tend to be high in fibre, so you can’t go wrong!
- Seeds and nuts help remove plaque. Plus, they can have additional benefits for you. Take sesame seeds, for example, which are high in calcium. Try sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, or cashews. Nuts also provide calcium and phosphorous, two important nutrients for building teeth.
A word of caution about abrasive foods: You shouldn’t overuse abrasive foods or substances. If you overdo it, you could wear away your tooth enamel or even crack a tooth. The goal is not to wear down the surface of your tooth. You want only to loosen plaque buildup from the enamel of your teeth.
The Nutrients in These Foods Help Protect Your Teeth
Calcium and phosphorous are important nutritional building blocks for healthy teeth. They help remineralize your tooth enamel, which is like the force field protecting your teeth.
Enjoy these toothsome taste treats for beneficial dental effects.
- Cheeses, milk, and yogurt are high in calcium, which might not come as a surprise to dairy lovers. But did you know that milk and cheese also lower acid levels in your mouth? That means that consuming milk and cheese actually makes it harder for plaque to take hold on your teeth. Plus casein, a milk protein found in cheese, has been shown to reduce the loss of minerals from tooth enamel. Moo.
- Leafy greens, like spinach, broccoli, and kale, are rich in calcium, folic acid, and other vitamins and mineral that encourage dental health - and lots of other good stuff to help your body’s immune system stay strong.
- Seed and nuts are back at it again! Almonds, in particular, are high in calcium; whereas, pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts are good sources of phosphorous. Trail mix anyone?
But remember having white teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that your teeth are healthy. It’s important to stay up-to-date with your dental check-ups and regular preventative care, like brushing and flossing.
Oh, and don’t crack open nuts with your teeth.
Do You Need Gentle Restorative or Cosmetic Dentistry?
Consider Boger Dental to help you with simple cosmetic dental procedures, like teeth whitening or teeth bonding, or for more comprehensive smile restoration procedures.
The cosmetic dentistry procedures at Boger Dental are comfortable and convenient, typically involving only two to three office visits. Our team will tailor a plan to your unique needs and help you achieve the smile of your dreams.