Getting whiter teeth is one of the most popular things people want for their smiles, and your dentist in St. Louis doesn’t blame them. Whiter teeth are often viewed as more attractive and make you appear healthier and more approachable than dull, discolored teeth. While we all know that there are tons of foods out there that can cause our teeth to be less than our ideal shade of white, we want to talk about certain foods that we can eat that can actually help brighten our teeth.
Raw apples may help remove surface stains from our teeth thanks to their crunchy consistency. Their texture helps gently scrub teeth as we chew, effectively rubbing away minor stains. Apples also contain an enzyme called malic acid which has been linked to increased saliva production, which can also aid in rinsing away stains.
Another fruit that can diminish the appearance of tooth staining is pineapple. Pineapple is naturally packed with bromelain — a natural anti-inflammatory and cleansing agent. This stuff is good at cleaning that a recent study by the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that it can safely and effectively remove tooth stains.
Cheese and other dairy products such as yogurt and milk are loaded with lactic acid, calcium, and vitamin D. This powerhouse trio fights off decay as well as strengthens tooth enamel. Tough and healthy enamel can actually help teeth have a whiter appearance, and conversely, if enamel wears away, teeth can appear dark or discolored. What’s more, is that hard cheeses can act as a gentle scrubber and rub off stains.
Speaking of healthy enamel, broccoli is another food that can protect enamel and help to keep teeth looking white, thanks to its iron content. In fact, research done by the European Journal of Dentistry claims that the iron in broccoli essentially blocks acid from attacking and wearing away tooth enamel. Broccoli, in its raw form, is also great for scrubbing surface stains.
One of the best things you can do for your teeth and your whole body is to drink plenty of water, especially after eating. Water not only helps neutralize the acid that can attack enamel, but it also helps rinse away food particles and sugars that may be leftover from lunch. If these particles aren’t removed quickly, they can lead to decay and cavities, and, in turn, discoloration of your teeth.
While these foods can help protect your teeth from the damaging effects of bacteria and acid, and they can help whiten your teeth, they may not transform your look dramatically. If tooth stains are deep, you should talk with your dentist in St. Louis about the best way to whiten your smile. Your dental team may recommend a professional whitening treatment, or perhaps cosmetic dentistry such as veneers.