Everyone wants to have a bright, white smile – that is why people spend millions of dollars each year on teeth whitening products and cosmetic dental procedures. Unfortunately, many of the products that are sold over the counter for whitening teeth can cause damage to the enamel. Even getting your teeth whitened too often by a dentist will eventually lead to enamel loss which is almost impossible to repair.
The good news is, there are some simple foods that you can eat on a regular basis that can help make your teeth whiter. Before we talk about them, let us look briefly into why teeth need whitening in the first place. When you are young your teeth are a nice, milky colour. But as you grow older, particularly after you get into your thirties, you may notice that they start to get a yellowish tint. This can be due to a variety of reasons. The most common is what you consume. If you like to drink lots of coffee and tea you can expect your teeth to start yellowing at some point. Red wine also affects the colour of teeth as does smoking. Poor dental hygiene can also lead to teeth discoloration.
You may be watchful about your habits and consumption, but ageing also causes teeth to yellow. As you grow older your enamel will start to tint – that is why many old people have yellow teeth.
So what foods can help you keep a bright smile for as long as possible? Try the following:
Apples are ubiquitous – they are found almost everywhere in the world and they are affordable. But did you know that apart from keeping the doctor away an apple a day will also help you maintain a bright smile? Apples contain malic acid which helps scrub the enamel free of stains and eliminates food particles to reduce the levels of bacteria in your mouth.
Strawberries are also rich in malic acid. Malic acid is a common ingredient in many types of toothpaste and is also present in teeth whitening products. Strawberries are also rich in Vitamin C which helps in plaque removal. Eat a few strawberries several times a month.
Cheese is a dairy by-product which means that it is rich in calcium and phosphorus, compounds that are important in keeping teeth strong and maintaining their white colour. If you don’t have any allergies to dairy products you should eat more cheese in your diet. Make sure you choose only healthy types – some have been known to lead to high cholesterol.
Pineapple is tropical fruit but you will find it in most countries. It helps to keep your smile white because it is rich in bromelain which is a stain remover. It also helps to loosen plaque from your teeth.
Every health professional will tell you that you should stay hydrated at all times, but not many emphasise that drinking water has benefits for teeth. Water is nature’s most basic cleaning ingredient. It helps remove food particles from your mouth. The reduced bacterial activity keeps your teeth whiter for longer. After each meal you should rinse your mouth out thoroughly with a couple of mouthfuls of water. Avoid the carbonated kind – it can lead to loss of tooth enamel.
All these foods can help keep your teeth white, but if you notice that they are yellowing you may want to consult a teeth whitening dentist. They will schedule you for a cleaning and whitening sessions. Afterwards make sure to maintain proper dental hygiene and keep eating the foods that have been discussed here.