Everyone values time like no other these days, but it’s widely known that making our smile look its best takes time. Whitening your teeth is something that seems time-consuming, but can be easily accomplished with a routine that you’re already doing every day – EATING! In this blog post, I’ll highlight some foods you can incorporate into your diet to make those teeth sparkle daily.

APPLES AND CELERY

These fibrous foods can be beneficial for more than just your gut. Apples and celery can help brighten your smile! The coarseness of these healthy snacks acts as natural tooth scrubbers to remove any surface stain and discoloration from plaque. They also stimulate saliva production, which helps to rinse away any staining particles that can accumulate over time.

STRAWBERRIES

Juicy and delightful, strawberries have a natural enzyme called malic acid that has bleaching qualities. It acts as an astringent to pull any surface stain out of the pores of the teeth. As with any acidic product, be cautious of the adverse effects it can have on the enamel of your teeth. Acid tends to thin out the outer layer of the tooth, making the yellow inner layer more visible. However, the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables are very beneficial for gum health.

ONIONS

Chopping this strong vegetable can bring a tear to the eye, but your teeth will be thanking you for adding it to your diet. Onions contain antibacterial and antimicrobial elements that can destroy the organisms that are harmful to our teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities are reduced by eating onion, but you don’t need to be taking a large bite to reap the benefits. Simply add some chopped onion to a salad or on a sandwich and you’re set!

CHEESE

Dairy items like cheese and yogurt may come as a surprise to some as whitening foods. These have claimed their spot on the list due to their high calcium content, which helps fortify your enamel. Calcium phosphates are the building blocks to strengthen teeth, remineralizing the top layer of your tooth keeps them bright white. Aside from the aesthetic advantage of dairy, it also has been shown to prevent cavities. Who can be opposed to adding more cheese to their day? No one.

While learning how these superfoods help make our smiles bright, we should also be aware of staining foods that will darken our teeth.

TOMATO-BASED SAUCES

This one shouldn’t come as surprising if you’ve ever spilled some spaghetti sauce on a white tee. That red coloration is nearly impossible to get out. Just like cotton, the pores in our teeth grab onto these colors and are difficult to remove. Taking the acidic properties into consideration as well, tomato sauce is just not friendly to our teeth. We are not saying to cut it out of your diet completely, but to be conscious of frequency and enjoy red sauces in moderation.

POTENT COLORFUL SPICES

Turmeric, curry, and other spice blends tend to coat the teeth with a yellow hue and lack of luster. This yellow coating builds atop of itself, so can start as subtle and end up becoming noticeable over time. Adding fresh veggies into these meals can help to combat this, as well as drinking water along with the dish. Water helps to flush the mouth of the spices, as to not bond to the teeth. Always be sure to brush your teeth after these meals as well!

COFFEE/BLACK TEA/RED WINE

Some drinks that we incorporate into our daily routines could be the culprits to a dull smile. Coffee, tea, and wine soak our teeth with dark molecules that over time cling to the outer layer and if left there long enough, penetrate to the inside of the tooth. When just a surface stain, it’s rather easy for a dental professional to remove. Once the stain has reached the middle of the tooth, whitening agents are required to change the color. The best remedy to prevent stains from drinks is to use a straw. Straws help for the flood of liquids to pass your teeth while still enjoying the taste.

It’s important to note that simply enjoying or avoiding certain foods isn’t going to magically change the color of your teeth. Stopping by our office for a dental cleaning or smile evaluation is the best way to get advice on how to brighten your pearly whites. It’s our favorite thing to talk about! We can’t wait to see our Chicago neighbor’s smiles shining their brightest.