Many people want to whiten their teeth, and our dental office can offer a range of tooth whitening procedures and services. But, those beautiful pearly whites will quickly begin to fade if you don’t support them with a good dental hygiene routine. The foods you eat will also affect the colour of your teeth, sometimes in unexpected ways. Here are some foods that will help you maintain and even whiten your teeth, and others that are likely to stain them.
#1 – Strawberries
You may assume that, because they will stain your white t-shirt, strawberries stain your teeth too, but that’s just not so. Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that actually helps to whiten your teeth. You can enjoy them the way you normally would, or for extra whitening power, you can mash up a strawberry and rub it on your teeth. Leave it in for about 5 minutes and then rinse, brush, and floss as usual.
#2 – Oranges, Pineapples, Apples, Pears, Celery & Carrots
Tart fruits which contain acids can cause your mouth to produce more saliva. That means, you are naturally washing your teeth clean as you eat. The added crunch factor of carrots and other fresh veggies and fruits also acts as a natural tooth scrubber. This category of fruits and veggies can also help you mitigate staining and enamel damage when you indulge in any of the foods that can be harmful to your teeth.
#3 – Milk, Yogurt & Hard Cheeses
In general, dairy products contain lactic acid, which helps to prevent decay, as well as calcium, which strengthens tooth enamel. An interesting study in the journal Dentistry found that kids who ate yogurt four times a week had a significantly lower rate of cavities. Hard cheeses also help to strengthen teeth and gums. Casein, a protein that is found in cheese, helps to mitigate mineral loss from tooth enamel.
#4 – Baking Soda
Baking soda, which many of us have in our cupboards for baking, has long been used as a natural whitener. About once a week, you can use it on your teeth instead of toothpaste to help keep stains at bay. A study from 2008 found that even using commercial toothpastes that contain baking soda can remove plaque better than those without, which also helps keep teeth whiter.
#5 – Water
Water is your magic ingredient. Even when you want to indulge in the kinds of beverages that can stain your teeth (see below!) you can mitigate any staining action by sipping a glass of plain water in between. It will help flush the staining compounds away from your teeth. But – be sure it’s plain water and not sparkling, which can help erode tooth enamel.
#1 – Acidic Beverages – Coffee, Tea, Soda Pop
Acidic beverages such as our perennial favourites, coffee, tea, and soda pop change the pH balance in your mouth. This can damage the enamel and lead to staining. Of the three, soda pop is probably the riskiest, since it contains the most sugar, as well as the bubbles from carbonation which can also erode tooth enamel.
#2 – Red Wine
Many of us enjoy a fine glass of red wine. That rich colour, along with the tannins in wine, can adhere to the surface of teeth, staining the enamel. Here’s a delicious tip: eating hard cheeses along with your glass of red wine will help to avoid this condition.
#3 – Dark Condiments: Balsamic Vinegar, Soy Sauce & Others
The dark, concentrated pigments in these types of dressings and sauces can stain tooth enamel to a purplish colour. You can opt instead for other condiments such as white vinegar or olive oil to avoid this situation.
#4 – Red Sauces
Pasta sauces and other red sauces made with tomatoes can stain tooth enamel. It’s not just the colour – the acidity of tomatoes can help to penetrate tooth enamel. What you can do to soften and even eliminate the effect is to add abrasive veggies like broccoli or cauliflower to the meal. Their natural tooth scrubbing effect will clean as you eat.
#5 – Curries
The deep pigmentation of curries is also a potential tooth stainer, especially if you love your curries and eat them often. You can mitigate the staining effect by adding fruits or veggies like apples and carrots to the curry to help clean as you go.
Looking for advice on teeth whitening or any other area of your dental health? You’ll find the answer at Dr. Robert Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton, ON.
If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad. We’re conveniently located in Brampton, ON at 40 Finchgate Blvd., Suite 121 in the Bestgate Professional Center. There’s plenty of free parking and our Brampton dental office is fully wheelchair accessible and LGBTQIA+ friendly.
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