|READ PART ONE: Foods That Support Healthy Gums||READ PART TWO: Foods That Naturally Strengthen Teeth|
Oral health is a key factor and one of the most underrated aspects of overall full-body health. Clogged arteries, diabetes and difficulties during pregnancy are just some of the complications that poor oral health can lead to.
Brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly are recommended habits to maintain a healthy mouth, but there are other simple and natural ways you can improve your oral health. Did you know that a simple change in your diet can have a profound affect on your oral health?
Incorporate the foods listed below into your diet to help support a healthy mouth (and body), reduce the risk of tooth decay and brighten up those pearly whites.
Foods that naturally whiten your teeth
Strawberries – Malic acid, found in strawberries acts as a natural whitener, removing surface stains on teeth.
Pineapple – A study found that toothpaste containing bromelain, and enzyme found in pineapples, was significantly more effective at removing tooth stains than the standard toothpaste. However, there has not been a follow-up study proving that eating pineapple has the same effect. (1)
Seeds and nuts – The abrasive texture of sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, and cashews work to help remove surface stains on teeth. Think of it as exfoliating stains from your teeth.
Onions – These won’t help your breath, but the sulfur compounds keep plaque from building up on your teeth (plus you are probably more likely to brush after eating them). The catch is this only works when eating them raw.
Apples, Carrots, Celery – The high water content of these foods increases saliva production. The extra saliva washes away bacteria that can lead to discolorations on the teeth.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Used for centuries as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product, the main property of apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, effectively kills bacteria. The antibacterial properties of Apple Cider Vinegar make it useful for cleaning and whitening teeth. Vinegar can have the potential to erode the enamel on teeth making them softer, so use mindfully. Do not use this technique every day. To use as a mouthwash, dilute with water and swish around your mouth for several minutes, then spit out. Make sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards to eliminate any negative effects on your teeth and gain some pearly-whites.
Baking Soda – Try brushing with baking soda. Baking soda acts like a bleaching agent on teeth. This natural ingredient scrubs off plaque and surface stains. However, baking soda can have the potential to erode the enamel on teeth making them softer, so use mindfully. Do not use this technique every day.
Broccoli – High fiber, coarse foods act as a scrubbing agent for your teeth.
Water – Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated but can keep dark pigmented foods and drinks from staining your teeth. Sip and swish between things like glasses of wine and coffee. Opt for flat water over sparkling; bubbles can erode the enamel and harm teeth.
Milk and Yogurt – Dairy products like milk and yogurt contain lactic acid and calcium, which not only strengthen teeth but whiten them too. (6)
Keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Small changes in diet are an easy and natural way to support good oral health as well as overall full-body health. All of these foods should be consumed and used in moderation. Anything in excess has the potential to damage teeth or other parts of your body. In addition to any of the suggested natural ways to improve your oral health, always remember to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss between your teeth once a day, and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.
Need a check-up, teeth cleaning or whitening treatment? Schedule your dental appointment now!