You must know about the foods and drinks that stain your teeth. However, do you know that there are certain foods that also brighten your tooth enamel?
These food products can make your teeth whiter because of their content.
Eating more of these results in fewer bacteria and plaque formation inside your mouth.
Hence, they protect your teeth, gums and your oral health.
This article discusses all of these fruits, vegetables and other foods that can give you pearly white teeth.
Keep reading to know what are these and what staining foods should you avoid in your diet.
Foods That Brighten The Tooth Enamel
- Dairy Products
Dairy products such as yogurt, milk and cheese contain lactic acid, protein, phosphorus and calcium.
Phosphorus and calcium help to remineralize the enamel and strengthen it.
The proteins in dairy products also bind strongly to teeth and prevent them from an attack by bacteria.
They also neutralize the effect of the acids in the mouth.
Moreover, hard cheese removes any stuck food particles which can later result in stains.
It promotes saliva production that washes the food particles away preventing staining.
It is even better to go for a low-fat cheese option. Saturated fat in normal cheese will affect your heart health.
Similarly, milk with lactic acid stimulates saliva to wash the food particles.
Protein casein helps to whiten teeth by involving calcium phosphates to prevent cavities and plaque.
Casein also prevents staining from tea. It hinders tannins from leaving the yellow stain on teeth by sticking on them.
Strawberries contain a natural astringent.
Malic acid whitens teeth by removing the stains present on the surface of the enamel.
Hence, whenever you eat them, they help to brighten up your teeth.
It not only has bleaching properties but it also stimulates saliva.
Though you can also directly apply them to your teeth via a toothbrush by making a paste after mashing them.
Keep them on for 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with water. Follow it by brushing and flossing.
Nuts such as walnuts, cashew nuts and almonds have an abrasive texture that can help remove stains.
They act as exfoliants on the enamel to decrease discoloration to whiten the surfaces.
Furthermore, seeds such as sesame seeds and sunflower seeds erase and scrub plaque that is accumulating on your teeth.
Also, they contain calcium which strengthens the bones and teeth saving the enamel from erosion.
Broccoli contains a good amount of iron.
Iron coats the enamel and protects it from bacteria, stains and erosion from acids.
Plus, if you consume it raw then you will have to use your teeth to crush and grind it and let the nutritional florets acts on your teeth like a toothbrush.
It cleans the teeth and protects the enamel hence it keeps your teeth looking brighter and whiter.
Teeth have a layer of salivary proteins known as the pellicle layer.
It shields the teeth but is also prone to staining as it absorbs pigments present in fluids and food.
Moreover, it allows bacteria a medium to stick to the teeth.
If they accumulate here, they can cause plaque, eventually leading to a cavity.
However, eating pineapple can be your solution.
It contains a bromelain enzyme that breaks down proteins in the pellicle layer and the plaque sticking on the layer.
Therefore, it prevents stains and discoloration on the teeth and cleanses the already existing stains.
Similarly, papaya also contains the enzyme papain which also breaks down proteins in the pellicle layer.
Hence, it works in a similar manner like eating pineapple.
Crunchy vegetables like celery and cauliflower help to increase the saliva in the mouth because they are hard to chew even if not the hardest substance to eat.
The harder it is to chew, the longer you will take to properly break and grind food.
This action will create more saliva that washes food particles and prevents plaque from sticking to teeth.
Hence, if there is no plaque, then there are no stains and whiter teeth.
Also, fibrous vegetables keep the gum tissue healthy protecting your oral health.
Watermelons have a fibrous texture.
This can rub against your teeth to scrub them and remove any stains.
Though, there is not enough evidence over it.
However, watermelon contains malic acid.
In fact, in a greater quantity than that in strawberries.
It has bleaching properties that remove the yellow stains on your teeth.
Plus, it will keep the saliva flowing to prevent plaque.
Likewise, apples also contain malic acid.
This crunchy fruit whitens the teeth by removing surface stains because of its malic acid content.
Moreover, it acts like a scrub that scrubs away the stains on your teeth while you chew it harder and longer.
Also, the saliva stimulation helps to remove any food particles that can end up causing stains on your teeth.
Amongst the drinks, water is your safest bet.
Drinking water is not only good for whitening your enamel but also for your oral hygiene and health.
Water reduces the acidity and prevents the pH in your mouth from lowering further after a meal which can give bacteria a chance to feed on acids and wear and tear the enamel.
It also promotes saliva production (like chewing gum) and washes away food debris that can lead to staining.
Gargle or swish some water inside your mouth after every meal to reap its benefits.
Also, all other drinks usually cause some extent of discoloration as they contain calories and sugar.
Read more about these foods and drinks below.
Foods That Stain the Tooth Enamel
Drinks are bigger culprits of staining than foods.
However, fruits such as berries, citrus fruits and acidic foods are all responsible for causing staining.
The stain from berries and pomegranates is quite hard to remove.
Acidic and citrus fruits can erode the layer of enamel revealing the dentin which is yellower in comparison.
Therefore, if your teeth have an overall yellow hue then it is probably due to acidic foods such as tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Sugary and starchy foods also contain acids and sugar that stick to your teeth to become food for bacteria.
Enamel erosion and yellow teeth occur as a result also leading to decay.
Other drinks that stain include:
Coffee and Tea
Tea and coffee contain tannins that stain the teeth.
Green tea can give a gray stain while black tea and coffee will stain them yellow.
Coffee also lowers the pH of the mouth which can increase the chances of damage to your teeth.
Soda and Wines
Sodas contain acids and sugars which are both not great for your mouth.
They can stain your teeth and also erode them by giving bacteria something to feed on.
The darker color sods are worse because they are more acidic and sugar-free sodas do not prevent enamel loss or help the human body.
In fact, they can even create holes inside your teeth.
Red wine leaves an instant stain on your teeth.
This is because of its dark color and tannins that stick onto your teeth.
Hence, your teeth look immediately darker and reddish because of the staining.
You can counteract that by eating cheese with it.
White Wine also contains acids that can enhance the appearance of the existing stains on your teeth.
These acids form pockets on the surface of your teeth which lets the other colored drinks to set in deeper and result in staining.
Dressings that are dark in color can stain the teeth leaving behind a purple tinge.
These contain the likes of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.
You can replace these with light-colored dressings such as rice vinegar and olive oil.
Are There Other Ways To Whiten Teeth?
You can whiten your teeth using whitening systems, home remedies and dental procedures.
Firstly, you should brush and floss regularly.
Brushing and flossing will help keep the bacteria at bay and prevent plaque or cavities.
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and flossing will remove any stuck food debris and cleanse off your teeth to hinder staining.
Next, you can avoid eating and drinking all of these foods that discolor your tooth enamel.
Limit the intake of coffee, tea and soda while also eating less sugary, acidic and starchy foods.
Use home remedies such as making a baking soda paste or using oil pulling to remove the existing stains on your teeth.
Furthermore, you can use teeth whitening systems that contain whitening gels, rinses, strips, toothpaste and the use of mouth trays to whiten your teeth over time.
However, all of these procedures including eating foods that whiten teeth take much longer.
Even stronger whitening systems can take months before they show any results.
Hence, you will require to wait for any of these to be effective.
On the other hand, teeth whitening procedures in a dentist’s office will not take longer than two hours of your day.
Also, you will have immensely whiter teeth when you leave the office as these procedures can lighten up the color of your teeth by 8 shades in one go.
Though, as long as you eat these foods regularly, they will keep your tooth enamel white and bright.
In order to keep your tooth enamel bright, you should add these fruits, vegetables and nuts to your diet.
Moreover, you should try to avoid all foods and beverages that stain.
This will let your enamel stay brighter and stronger for a long time.